Vuvuzelas banned at Wimbledon
WIMBLEDON, England -- Quiet, please.
Organizers are making sure there will be no racket from vuvuzelas at the Wimbledon tennis championships.
The plastic horns which have provided a constant drone at the World Cup in South Africa will be banned from the Grand Slam tournament, which starts Monday at the All England Club.
"Out of courtesy to the players and their fellow spectators, we make a point of asking spectators not to bring items which could either cause a distraction or interfere with the enjoyment of the occasion," All England Club chief executive Ian Ritchie said in a statement Thursday.
"Rattles, klaxons and vuvuzelas all fall into that category and they will not be allowed into the grounds. Our message is do not bring them in the first place."
In addition, organizers said World Cup games will not be broadcast on the big screens or scoreboards on the Wimbledon grounds. That has been Wimbledon's policy with all World Cups and European Championships since 1998.
"We fully appreciate that a number of our visitors will be interested in the football World Cup," Ritchie said. "Equally, however, the tennis is our first priority."
Despite the measures, the World Cup will be sure to have an impact on Wimbledon. Many of the players are avid supporters of their national teams and will be asked about the soccer constantly during the two-week grass-court championships.
In past years, the men's final at Wimbledon has come on the same day as the World Cup final. This year, however, the soccer final will be played a week later than the July 4 tennis showpiece.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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