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Statistical breakdown of UCL semis

Five Aside
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By ESPN Staff

FIFA give vuvuzela green light for World Cup

Next year's World Cup promises to be a loud affair after FIFA rejected calls to ban the noisy vuvuzela, a plastic trumpet, from the event in South Africa.

The instrument's incessant drone drew protests at last month's Confederations Cup in South Africa, with broadcasters complaining it was drowning out their commentary and some players saying they could not communicate over it.

"That would mean one would have to take away the cow bells from Swiss fans and ban English fans from singing," Hans Klaus, director of communications at world soccer's governing body, told reporters on Friday.

"We approach this in a relaxed manner. I am convinced the vuvuzelas will be a hit at the World Cup. It will be a World Cup with African sound."

After a barrage of complaints about the instrument, a regular fixture at domestic matches in South Africa, FIFA pledged to discuss whether the vuvuzela had a place at the World Cup.

Vuvuzelas, given away free to fans at the Confederations Cup, were a constant background sound in all matches.

Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso was one of the critics at the time.

"I think they should be banned. They make it very difficult for the players to communicate with each other and to concentrate," he said.

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