Vuvuzela silenced by Europe's football body

The vuvuzela, the instrument behind the cacophonic signature of the World Cup in South Africa, have been given the red card by the Champions League and the European Championship.

European football's governing body, Uefa, banned the vuvuzela in the interests, it said, of protecting Europe's "football culture and tradition" of chanting and singing.

It feared the atmosphere of football matches would be changed for the worse if the long plastic trumpets were allowed into the grounds when Champions League, Europa League or the international European Championship matches were being played.

The sound made by vuvuzelas when played en masse by crowds has been compared to the buzz of a million angry bees. Their appearance at the World Cup where they were played almost incessantly was both welcomed and condemned by fans and commentators.

The noise drowned out the more traditional sounds of football matches, including club songs – and abusive chanting.

Several clubs from the Premiership, including Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Liverpool and West Ham have taken unilateral decisions to ban the instrument from their grounds for any match.

Uefa, headed by the former France international Michel Platini, said the ban would come into effect in time for this week's Euro 2012 qualifiers. Uefa executives decided the "continuous loud background noise" should be kept out of Europe. In a statement, Europe's footballing ruling body said: "Uefais of the view that the vuvuzelas would change the atmosphere, drowning supporter emotions and detracting from the experience of the game."

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