TOKYO - Japan's soccer chief has joined the chorus of protesters wanting the vuvuzela to be banned from next year's World Cup in South Africa.
Fifa had rejected calls for a ban on the plastic instrument but Japan has now appealed to South African officials after playing a friendly against the World Cup hosts at the weekend.
"We have requested that the South African FA cut that noise out," Japan Football Association (JFA) president Motoaki Inukai was quoted as saying in yesterday's Sankei Sports newspaper.
"You can't hear yourself speak. I will be bringing it up (with Fifa president Sepp Blatter)," Inukai added after Japan's 0-0 draw with South Africa in Port Elizabeth.
Japan defender Tulio said: "You can't hear what your teammates are saying from 2m away. You have to go up to them to give instructions."
The vuvuzela is an integral part of South African football but the incessant noise from the horns triggered complaints from players, coaches and broadcasters in this year's Confederations Cup.
Television networks complained the sound drowned out their commentary, while top players including Spain's Xabi Alonso called for the vuvuzela to be banned.
Asked for his thoughts on the subject after Saturday's stalemate, Japan coach Takeshi Okada responded dryly: "Perhaps if they play good football (the fans) will be quiet and watch." - Reuters