Vuvuzelas banned ... Horns not allowed at Jamaica International Invitational
Patrons hoping to cheer on their favourite athletes at tomorrow's Jamaica International Invitational track meet at the National Stadium will have to do so without vuvuzelas as the noisy horns have been banned from the event.
Olympian Donald Quarrie, who heads the organising committee, told THE WEEKEND STAR that the decision was taken to ban the instruments because they often distract the athletes.
"We had a few complaints that the noise does disturb the athletes, especially when they're getting ready to run and, unfortunately, when they plead for silence, it's never really something that they [patrons] acknowledge," Quarrie said.
He added that the athletes need to be extremely focused, especially right before they start of a race.
"It's a situation where we have to think of the athletes first. If the athletes complain then it reflects very badly on our organisation," Quarrie said.
However, this ban has not gone down well with many athletic fans, some of whom say the crack down on vuvuzelas is simply ridiculous and takes away from the excitement of the event.
One vendor, Mumus Broderick, who sells vuvuzelas at various events, said the instrument plays a vital role at track meets.
"How dem fi ban that? That's madness!" Broderick said.
"How you ago cheer fi dem? No sah! The horn haffi blow. That's harmless. It nah do nothing to nobody," Broderick asserted.
Reynaldo Stewart, a sports fan who said he loves to celebrate by blowing the vuvuzela is equally disturbed by the ban.
"That [the ban] no mek no sense because when the athletes dem hear the horn them know we a cheer them on, so it make them do better inna the race," he said.
Similarly, Alando Anderson, said he does not support a ban on the instrument, even though he admits they can be annoying.
"More time it bother me ears but me understand say people blow the horns fi enjoy themselves, so me no think dem fi ban it," he said.
Quarrie said he is mindful that some patrons would have been upset but said he hopes everyone will enjoy the meet.
The event will feature local and international athletes competing in track events in preparation for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August.
The world got a grand introduction to vuvuzelas horns that create bee-like sound during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
There have been repeated calls for it to be banned from sporting venues. Football's governing body, FIFA, had proposed banning vuvuzelas from stadiums, as they are seen as potential weapons for hooligans and could be used in ambush marketing.
Critics also argued that vuvuzelas also pose health risks, including permanent ear damage and the transmission of flu and cold germs.