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We won't silence vuvuzelas, pledge World Cup chiefs

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -- Vuvuzelas will not be banned from the World Cup despite the fearsome din the plastic trumpets make, organisers said on Monday.

"Vuvuzelas are here to stay and will never be banned," said Rich Mkhondo, a spokesman for the local World Cup organising committee.

"People love the vuvuzelas around the world. Only a minority are against vuvuzelas. There has never been a consideration to ban vuvuzelas."

Mkhondo was reacting to a BBC report that the chief organiser Danny Jordaan had not ruled out banning the most talked about instrument in this World Cup.

The Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk has banned them from his team's training sessions.

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The plastic vuvuzela trumpet has been controversial since the Confederations Cup last year, a World Cup dress rehearsal, when several players complained they could not communicate through the din, which sounds like a herd of charging elephants.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter rejected calls for them to be banned, saying they are as typical of South African football as bongo drums or chants in other countries.

"Look at them (vuvuzelas) as part of our culture in South Africa to celebrate the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As our guests please embrace our culture, please embrace the way we celebrate," said Mkhondo.

He added that vuvuzelas were also being used by fans from other countries.

The vuvuzela industry is worth $6.45 million in South Africa and Europe, according to Cape Town-based Neil van Schalkwyk, who developed the vuvuzela seven years ago.