Could the vuvuzela become the sound of British football?

If England fans thought that Robert Green's fumble would be the most traumatic thing to emanate from South Africa's World Cup, imagine this: British football stadiums buzzing to the furious drone of the vuvuzela.

It could become a reality. The long plastic horns, traditional instruments at South African football matches, have become an instant fixture in British pubs and parks, and yesterday the Premier League said that it would not impose a blanket ban on them despite complaints from spectators, television viewers and players about the noise.

The Premier League confirmed that there will be nothing to stop fans bringing them to matches in England and making them a feature of the British game.

"Nothing in our rules specifically prohibits musical instruments from being brought into grounds as such matters are dealt with at club level," said a spokesman. "It will be down to stadium managers, in consultation with supporter groups, to determine what is appropriate."

The supermarket giant Sainsbury's stocked up with 75,000 vuvuzelas in mid-May and has sold 37,000 of the horns so far at £2 each. One bookmaker has started taking bets on which Premier League club will be the first to stock them in club colours.

The vuvuzela has also become an instant success on the iPhone. An app which does nothing but replicate the sound of the buzzing horn has been downloaded 750,000 times.

The UK's largest club football stadium is Manchester United's Old Trafford, which holds 76,000 spectators. A spokesman said that because the horns were not banned by the Premier League – only air horns are – the club would adopt a "suck it and see approach".

He added: "The key thing will be about whether it is spoiling the experience of other people in the ground. Clearly in South Africa it is part of the uniform of a spectator whereas it is not necessarily part of the culture here.

"We do not plan to ban it immediately, but we will look at the first few games, which will be pre-season [friendly] games, and then monitor any complaints. We will deal with it like we would any other complaints – by listening to the fans. The key thing is that they enjoy the game, whether that be with or without vuvuzelas."

The BBC has received more than 200 complaints about the din of the vuvuzelas overwhelming its coverage, and internet message boards and websites such as Twitter have been flooded with grumbles about the noise.

The Spain striker David Villa said it makes team-mates harder to hear, and the Holland forward Robin van Persie claimed he could not hear the referee's whistle due to the noise. There was even a suggestion that they would be banned for the remaining World Cup games, but this has been flatly rejected by the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter. The horns are popular with the tournament crowds, especially those supporting the African nations.

There may be a saving grace for British football fans: one specialist suggested that vuvuzelas could soon be banned in football grounds in this country due to health and safety laws.

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations say that employers must provide extra training and ear protection if the regular noise in the workplace exceeds 85 decibels. A vuvuzela, blown from one metre away, is 116 decibels.

Trevor Cox, president of the Institute of Acoustics, said: "These regulations would mean that clubs would have to train and equip stewards to protect their ears against the noise. One of these things exceeds the noise at work regulations so imagine the effect thousands could have."

Watch Rob Sharp take on the vuvuzela – and lose

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
filmCritic Kaleem Aftab picks his favourites for Halloween
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
tv
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Sport
Luke Shaw’s performance in the derby will be key to how his Manchester United side get on
footballBeating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Life and Style
Google's doodle celebrating Halloween 2014
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes