FIBA has banned the vuvuzela from the forthcoming basketball World Championship in Turkey.
The sport’s international governing body is urging fans not to bring the controversial instruments to games and warned that security staff will confiscate them. Supporters also face expulsion from the tournament’s five venues if they flout the ban.
FIBA is the first international sport federation to officially ban the vuvuzela from all of its events. The ban will include pressure horns that can produce similar decibel levels and harm people’s health.
The noise made by the horns was a major talking point at the football World Cup in South Africa with opinion divided over the effect they had on the atmosphere during games.
Patrick Baumann, the Secretary-General of FIBA and a member of the International Olympic Committee, said: “We want fans to enjoy themselves and make lots of noise but not at the risk of spoiling it for others.
“The vuvuzela is simply not appropriate in a confined space such as a basketball arena. It’s a very loud instrument and some medical experts believe the decibel level and frequency can be harmful to hearing.
“Besides our responsibility to protect the well-being of our athletes and fans alike, the sound level in an indoor sport arena could create communication problems between the referees and that could have a direct negative impact on the game.
“We are urging fans not to bring the instrument to stadia because they will be confiscated by security staff and anybody who manages to smuggle one into a venue might end up missing the game.
“Previous tournaments have shown us that it’s possible to have a carnival atmosphere and passionate support without the vuvuzela.”
The ban will also be implemented for all other FIBA indoor events in the future such as the FIBA World Championship for Women later in the year.
Dr Heinz Gunter, Vice President of the FIBA Medical Commission, backed the decision saying: “If somebody is sitting next to more than one vuvuzela it can cause damage to the ear. The problem is the instrument has a very high frequency which is not good for the ears.”