In perhaps the biggest display of optimism at the World Cup so far, organisers say they are confident the vuvuzela-blowing fans will respect the tension of penalty shoot-outs once the tournament reaches the knockout stages.
The constant drone of the plastic horns has been a big feature of the tournament but could prove a distraction to players taking a shoot-out spot-kick from the last 16 onwards.
Local Organising Committee communications chief Rich Mkhondo believes supporters have already shown an appreciation of when to blow the vuvuzelas and when to go quiet.
“I must say that spectators have been receptive to announcements in the stadiums to keep quiet when they are asked to do so, and they respect what is going on on the pitch,” Mkhondo said.
“You can see that they have even begun to play the vuvuzelas in rhythm. They understand when to keep quiet and so we expect them to do the same after the group stages.”
Meanwhile, the vuvuzela is apparently going global. The Florida Marlins baseball team handed out free horns to the first 15,000 fans through the gate for their game with the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday.
Not surprisingly, as anyone who has watched a World Cup match would know, the result was a night of constant, vibrating noise.
While the young fans brandishing the mini-version of the South African plastic horn enjoyed the fun, the players were not amused.
“This isn’t soccer,” Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, who wore earplugs, told MLB.com.
“I know the World Cup is going on, but this is baseball. We don’t want to hear horns or anything like that. We want to hear the crowd cheering.
We want to hear the crowd getting behind us, not horns,” he said.
The Marlins, who often struggle to draw good crowds, frequently put on bands and other attractions on Saturday nights.
“We try to create either a sound or visual giveaway,” said Marlins’ vice president of marketing Sean Flynn. “This is probably the loudest item we’ve had.”