OK, this is one where I stray, read no further if you’re only interested in research (plus, get a life).
I read with dismay, though little surprise, that FIFA are considering banning vuvuzelas from grounds at the World Cup. Whilst I personally find the constant buzzing of the things more than a little annoying, they are a quintessential part of the African football experience. It’s clear that fans from all over the world have adopted the vuvuzela and as much of an irritant as it might be for those of us watching at home, those who’ve made the effort to go also deserve a bit of consideration.
It seems to me that FIFA’s entire policy approach is to suck every ounce of joy out of the viewing experience of the fans actually in the ground in order to improve the experience of those at home. This is with the shortsighted view of keeping their advertising and sponsorship revenues rolling in – but what they neglect to realise is that nothing kills the atmosphere and excitement of watching a game, even on TV, more than empty seats in the ground. Killing the experience for those watching live will eventually kill it for those in the armchair.
What’s the point of holding a World Cup in Africa and banning one of the key things that makes the atmosphere different? Why not just hold every single World Cup in Western Europe and be done with it? In 2014 expect to see a ban on pretty Brazilian girls in bikinis. In the unlikely event of England winning their bid for 2018, expect to see bans on chanting and balti pies.
Of course, if they really want to reduce irritation for the viewing public they could try banning the following:
– Clive Tyldesley
– Jim Beglin
– Gareth Southgate
– Alan Shearer
– Any talk about how light the ball is