Both loved and hated, the vuvuzela is having its use restricted in top European competion [EPA]

They were a symbol of pride for South Africa, they blared in the ears of football spectators at the World Cup – and they caused a constant buzz in television sets across the globe for a month.

But at least in Europe, the vuvuzelas will fall silent after the continent's governing body Uefa banned the plastic trumpets from their competitions.

The horns became a hallmark of the World Cup in June and July, producing a monotonous droning sound which provided a backdrop for every match.

They were by no means popular among non-South Africans and Uefa now say they are banning them because they drown out supporters and detract from the emotion of the game.

Vuvuzelas will not be allowed in stadiums in Uefa competitions such as the Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2012 qualifiers after the ruling on Wednesday.

'European tradition'

"European football's governing body has informed its 53 member associations that it has taken the move for reasons related to Europe's football culture and tradition, saying that the atmosphere at matches would be changed by the sound of the vuvuzela," said Uefa in a statement.

"The World Cup was characterised by the vuvuzela's widespread and permanent use in the stands.

"In the specific context of South Africa, the vuvuzela adds a touch of local flavour and folklore, but Uefa feels that the instrument's widespread use would not be appropriate in Europe, where a continuous loud background noise would be emphasised."

The statement then continued with a clear criticism of the controversial instrument.

"The magic of football consists of the two-way exchange of emotions between the pitch and the stands, where the public can transmit a full range of feelings to the players.

"However, Uefa is of the view that the vuvuzelas would completely change the atmosphere, drowning supporter emotions and detracting from the experience of the game.

"To avoid the risk of these negative effects in the stadiums where Uefa competitions are played and to protect the culture and tradition of football in Europe - singing, chanting etc - Uefa has decided with immediate effect that vuvuzelas will not be allowed in the stadiums where Uefa competitions matches are played."

Source: Agencies