Are your ears ready for the World Cup hoot-out?

Daily Mail - - News - From Chris­tian Gysin in Jo­han­nes­burg

IF you thought the sound­track to the World Cup would be the chant­ing of Eng­land fans and a spot of cheer­ing and whistling, you’re in for a shock.

Pre­pare your ears for the 3ft long, 127-deci­bel ‘vu­vuzela’ – a £2 plas­tic trum­pet which will pro­vide a deaf­en­ing back­ground to the tour­na­ment.

It is louder than a chain­saw, nois­ier than a lawn­mower and even more ear-split­ting than a ref­eree’s whis­tle – and it could dam­age your hear­ing in as lit­tle as 15 min­utes.

Crowds in South Africa have been blow­ing the horn at matches since the early 1990s be­cause they be­lieve it in­tim­i­dates op­pos­ing teams.

But it could also drive arm­chair fans to dis­trac­tion as it is beamed in to liv­ing rooms across Bri­tain.

The trum­pet, which gets its name from the ‘vuvu’ sound it makes, has al­ready been used to greet sup­port­ers ar­riv­ing in South Africa ahead of the tour­na­ment be­gin­ning on Fri­day.

But just two hours af­ter Eng­land’s friendly match against a South African team this week, com­menta- tors and broad­cast­ers com­plained of se­vere headaches caused by a ca­coph­ony that lasted four hours.

Yes­ter­day, re­ports in South Africa warned that ex­tended ex­po­sure to the vu­vuzela could re­sult in longterm hear­ing loss.

FIFA pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter has re­jected calls for them to be banned, say­ing they are as typ­i­cal of South African foot­ball as bongo drums or chants in other coun­tries.

How­ever, FIFA has warned that if just one is thrown on the pitch dur­ing a game, they will be for­bid­den.

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