RUSTENBURG, South Africa - FIFA president Sepp Blatter stood by South Africa's beloved vuvuzela trumpets on Wednesday and said that the relentless noise would be a trademark of next year's World Cup.
"When we go to South Africa, we go to Africa," Blatter said after the colorful plastic trumpets got their global premiere during the Confederations Cup. "It is noisy. It is something else than in the rest of world."
A fan blows a vuvuzela with a South African flag before the start of the Confederations Cup soccer match between Spain and New Zealand at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg June 14, 2009. Players and European broadcasters become increasely concerned about the noise of the horn.
The vuvuzelas have been a trademark of South African football for years, just like the crazy and colorful miner's helmets stitched together from recycled materials. The vuvuzelas make a lot more noise, though.
"It is energy," Blatter added as he was often interrupted because of the sound of fans blowing their vuvuzelas outside in the stadium where South Africa was to play New Zealand.
But because of complaints of European broadcasters that their listeners could hardly hear them above the din of the trumpets, Blatter said he would take it up with local organizers ahead of the World Cup.
"We are aware of it and we will discuss with the local organizing committee," Blatter said, indicating that a ban would be out of the question.
Stadiums need only to be half full for the trumpets to exceed the noise level in many a European venue. It usually starts as soon as the first fans enter the stadium and continues throughout the game, turning into a monotonous blare as if produced by a million bees.
Italy coach Marcello Lippi isn't a fan of them, however.
"They are disturbing," Lippi said. "But it's a local custom and in the end it's not really a problem."
Danny Jordaan, the head of the local World Cup organizing committee, said that the local Bafana Bafana fans start celebrating before the match "in case they cannot celebrate after the match."
Jordaan relished the thought of hearing 94,000 fans in the Soccer City Stadium, where the World Cup final will be played.
"It will be the noisiest World Cup ever," Jordaan said at the start of the Confederations Cup.