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