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FIBA rejects vuvuzelas at world basketball championships

It seems the soundtrack for the 2010 World Cup soccer matches in South Africa again will be banned from another major sporting event after FIBA, the governing body of international basketball, said plastic horns will not be allowed at the upcoming world basketball championships in Turkey.

Major League Baseball and English Premier League, for example, have already said no to the earsplitting soundtrack heard around the world this summer. FIBA officials said the vuvuzelas could damage hearing of spectators and make it difficult for teams to communicate on the court.

Patrick Baumann, secretary general of FIBA, said in a statement: "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."

FIFA, soccer's international governing body, allowed the use of vuvuzelas at stadiums during the World Cup because it was part of South Africa's culture.

FIBA does allow other instruments at the arenas, though.

"Previous tournaments have shown us that it's possible to have a carnival atmosphere and passionate support without the vuvuzela," said Baumann, citing Lithuanian fans who bang drums and chant during games.

--Dan Loumena

Photo: Fans of Spain play their vuvuzelas during a 1-0 victory over Germany in the 2010 World Cup semifinals on July 7. Credit: Rajesh Jantilal / AFP / Getty Images

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