GAA bans vuvuzelas before they blow away the Croke Park atmosphere

Fri, Jun 18, 2010, 01:00

THE GAA has got its retaliation in first against the dreaded vuvuzelas by banning them before they have even been blown in anger at championship matches.

Fans who turn up at grounds with them will have to leave them behind or be refused entry. If they attempt to smuggle them in, the vuvuzelas will be confiscated.

GAA spokesman Alan Milton said match-day regulations stretching back 40 years ban air-horns “and we count vuvuzelas as air-horns”.

The World Cup is only a week old, but the vuvuzelas have already gained notoriety. Fans have complained that the constant bee-like buzzing is killing the atmosphere of the games. Doctors have warned that a full blast of the horn can be as loud as a chain-saw and constitutes a threat to the hearing of fans.

Mr Milton said the GAA were not trying to be kill-joys, but there was little joy to be had from vuvuzelas.

“We have instructed our stewards not to allow them into our grounds, but that is not always possible. If fans do persist in taking them inside, we will confiscate them if we get complaints.”

The vuvuzelas will not be banned from Airtricity League grounds. A spokesman said they would be guided by Fifa’s ruling.

“If Fifa aren’t banning them, I can’t see us doing it,” he said.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has refused to ban the vuvuzelas despite pleas from footballers, broadcasters and travelling fans. He said the noise was part of the African experience.

It is unlikely that the vuvuzelas are going to be a major part of the Irish sporting experience this summer, simply because there are not enough of the plastic horns to go around.

The Jabula South African shops in Dublin and Cork are believed to be the only ones in Ireland which stock them – and they have sold out. Dublin store manager Siobhán Magnushas ordered in as many as the South African supplier could provide, but with 150 pre-ordered, they are likely to sell out fast.