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Brazilian vuvuzela banned from Confed Cup

May 31, 2013

SAO PAULO (AP) — In the latest embarrassment to Brazilian organizers, the official instrument of the 2014 World Cup has been banned from the Confederations Cup because of safety concerns.

Brazil’s Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said Friday that the maraca-like instrument is “not adequate” to be used during the warm-up tournament.

The Brazilian version of the vuvuzela, which had been approved by FIFA, made headlines for the wrong reasons last month after fans upset about their team’s loss in a test event threw the green-and-yellow objects onto the pitch, putting players in danger and briefly interrupting the match.

The announcement of the ban comes just a day after a court order temporarily suspended the Brazil vs. England friendly scheduled Sunday at the new Maracana, saying the venue was not safe for fans. The decision was later reversed after the Rio de Janeiro state government appealed.

The hand-sized caxirola, which costs about $15, produces a continuous rattling sound that is softer than the one produced by the much-criticized vuvuzelas at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Created by Brazilian artist Carlinhos Brown, the caxirola was presented earlier this year and was recognized by the Brazilian government and FIFA as the official fan instrument of the World Cup.

But after fans hurled the green-and-yellow objects onto the pitch at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, local police banned the instrument from some stadiums, and FIFA and the local organizing committee said they would reevaluate the authorization granted to the caxirola as an approved item during the Confederations Cup.

The minister said the decision to ban the instrument was made after a technical analysis by local authorities.

“Taking into consideration public safety concerns, the caxirola is not adequate to be used in stadiums,” Cardozo said. “A technical study was sent to World Cup organizers.”

Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo, who is in charge of Brazil’s preparation for the World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics, had said he didn’t think the caxirola would be a problem during the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

The caxirola is based on the African instrument caxixi, which is played during the Capoeira, a popular afro-Brazilian martial art. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the instrument would come in handy to “to celebrate the goals, to celebrate our athletes” at next year’s World Cup.

But critics said the caxirola would produce an atmosphere that is not characteristic to football matches in Brazil, which are dominated by chants and percussion instruments. They also said the hissing sound produced by thousands of caxirolas shaken at the same time would create a nuisance like the vuvuzelas.

The company which produces the caxirola said earlier this week that it would continue selling the instrument despite the ban in the Confederations Cup. It wasn’t clear if the ban would continue during next year’s World Cup.

The company tried to make the instrument lighter and more flexible, but it wasn’t enough to get it approved by Brazilian authorities.

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Follow Tales Azzoni at http://twitter.com/tazzoni

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