Of all the many storylines and issues from the World Cup this past summer, two stand out: 1. Instant Replay and 2. the Vuvuzelas. Many English Premier Teams have already banned vuvuzelas, but UEFA came out today and banned them from their tournaments - the European Championship and the Champions League.
This isn't surprising for a couple of reasons:
1. Vuvuzelas are as annoying as a mosquito flying into your eardrum, laying eggs and harvesting a community of mosquitoes in your ear.
2. The Euros love hearing themselves sing. That's why they listen to so much techno. They prefer music with beats and sounds. If they want vocals, they add it themselves.
The combination of an annoying sound that drowns out their singing makes for a fatal instrument. So the ban wasn't too surprising.
But the best part about the ban was the way the president phrased the reasoning and justification for the ban.
"In the specific context of South Africa, the vuvuzela adds a touch of local flavor and folklore."
That's a very diplomatic statement. It's almost as though he is saying that the vuvuzela contributes to the atmosphere of the game, well, as long as that game is in South Africa. But he makes it sound like they actually liked the vuvuzela. Like they really believe it contributed to the World Cup experience. But that's totally false because only deaf people and teenagers would think it contributed to the experience. And, if it did contribute, a ban probably wouldn't be necessary.
The president continued:
"The magic of football consists of the two-way exchange of emotions between the pitch and the stands, where the public can transmit a full range of feelings to the players...
"UEFA is of the view that the vuvuzelas would completely change the atmosphere, drowning supporter emotions and detracting from the experience of the game."
So in South Africa there was no magic? The vuvuzelas drowned out the emotions and changed the atmosphere so football lost the two-way exchange and thus the magic, right? But I thought he just said that it contributed to the game.
I'm actually all for the ban. I think those things are terrible. It's just entertaining to read the UEFA representative try and dance around the subject and not offend anyone. Who is he concerned about offending? He clearly hates the things and so do all the fans. There doesn't seem to be much of an uproar in Europe over this. He shouldn't have tried to appease the very small minority that likes the vuvuzela. These people don't care about you or your opinion. If they did, they wouldn't stand behind you and blow into an instrument that destroys your eardrum. The UEFA president should have just said: "Look, drunk British men may not always be on key with their singing, but at least they won't destroy your eardrums. Plus, I am concerned if we allow vuvuzelas there will be rioting in the stadiums and public stonings. I hate them, you hate them. They are annoying and they destroy the game. Banned."
Regardless of how he went about it, the end result is the same, no more vuvuzelas. This was the easy issue though. Now on to instant replay...