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    Meet the vuvuzela: the sound of South Africa

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    ODN

    by ODN

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    What's plastic, a metre long, brightly coloured and sounds like an elephant? It's the vuvuzela, the noise-making trumpet of South African football fans that has come to symbolise the sport in the country.


    It's an instrument, but not always a musical one. Describing the atmosphere in a stadium packed with thousands of fans blowing their vuvuzelas is difficult. Up close it's an elephant but en masse the sound is more like a massive swarm of very angry bees.


    But many in Europe say the incessant blowing in the terraces is irritating and complain that the noise drowns out TV commentators.


    Fifa president Sepp Blatter even revealed last year that broadcasters wanted the instrument banned from the World Cup.


    But the Fifa chief sprang to the defence of the humble trumpet, saying people must accept that it is part and parcel of football in South Africa.


    "That is what African and South Africa football is all about - noise, excitement, dancing, shouting and enjoyment," said Blatter.