Signs are emerging that Ireland is losing its venomous hatred of the much-maligned African air horn vuvuzela.
Although the GAA promulgated a decree in the middle of the World Cup that the hated air horn would be banned from Croke Park, that rule only applies to Croke Park, and a GAA spokesperson recently clarified that: “other grounds are entitled to act to remove or ban them if they see fit."
The FAI - Ireland’s national football association - has left it to individual clubs to decide what to do about the African instrument, as they’re apparently not a problem:
"We haven’t officially banned them but we don’t anticipate them being a problem as they have yet to be heard at Airtricity League matches," said a spokesperson.
The laissez-faire attitude hasn’t been ubiquitous, though. Jack O’Neill, the general manager of the Bray Wanderers football side, said that he had the personal “displeasure” of sitting near a vuvuzela-blower at a match he was watching and decided then and there to ban them from his club’s ground.
English soccer clubs, though, have increasingly been hitting out at the traditionally-used instrument with a series of measures designed to ban them from key stadia.
London clubs Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have both moved to ban the monotonous instrument, while West Ham also issued the following statement about the horn:
"Under the current health and safety regulations at the stadium, which already disallows musical bands, we would not allow them (vuvuzelas) into the stadium as they could be considered a weapon and could also be considered to be an annoyance to others."
The position in domestic Irish rugby remains unclear, although South Africa’s rugby union has already enforced a ban at matches.
The horn has also been banned from the 2011 Rugby World Cup, to be held in New Zealand.
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