Vuvuzelas sidelined for Eden Park test

By James Ihaka

It's likely to be music to the ears of rugby fans and TV viewers - the vuvuzela is banned from Eden Park for this weekend's All Blacks-South Africa test.

The plastic horns have provided a unique, but unpleasant, soundtrack to the Fifa World Cup in South Africa, with players, coaches and broadcasters complaining about the constant drone.

Fifa has declared them a part of South Africa's cultural sporting atmosphere and allowed their use, but other event organisers have moved quickly to ban them.

The Springboks were welcomed by fans blowing vuvuzelas at Auckland Airport this week.

But Eden Park general manager of sales and marketing Tracy Morgan said horns - "and that extends to vuvuzelas as well" - would be confiscated at this weekend's soldout All Blacks-Springboks test match.

"This is not vuvuzela-specific - it's simply around making sure we are looking after the comfort of our patrons," said Ms Morgan.

"If you were sitting in the park and someone had one going off in your ear you'd probably find it would impact on you enjoying the experience."

Wellington's Westpac Trust Stadium - venue for the second test - also confirmed yesterday the horns were among a list of banned items.

Christchurch's AMI Stadium bosses are concerned about the disruption vuvuzelas may cause, but are yet to make a decision while in Dunedin a Forsyth Barr Stadium spokesman said a ban was likely.

Rugby World Cup boss Martin Snedden could not be reached for comment yesterday but the event's website confirmed that all airhorns, sound amplifiers, loudhailers, musical instruments and whistles would be banned from venues next year.

Overseas, sporting fixtures moved quickly to din the noise when the vuvuzelas created controversy.

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club banned them from all of Wimbledon's courts at this year's tournament while London 2012 Olympic Games boss Sebastian Coe has also asked for a vuvuzela-free games.

Spain's mayor of Pamplona has banned them due to the "unpleasant and dangerous noise for neighbours" while police used pepper-spray to quell fighting that spread from the stands and onto the pitch in a football match in Turkey after fans objected to the noise from two young fans' vuvuzelas.

- NZ Herald

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