DURBAN (Reuters) - If you cannot beat the vuvuzela, the Swiss squad decided, you might as well embrace the cacophony which is blighting Africa’s first World Cup for many fans and players.
Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, in contrast to his Dutch opposite number, decided to encourage fans to blow the ubiquitous trumpets at an extra public training session to give his side a taste of dins to come when they play their first match.
The Netherlands coach, Bert van Marwijk, has banned the instrument from his practice workouts and others are working out ways such as sign language to get their message across during matches when they are drowned out by fans blowing the horn.
“We had another public training because we knew that there would be fans with vuvuzelas and we knew that the noise would be there,” Hitzfeld told a news conference in the 62,760-seater Moses Mabhida stadium on Tuesday.
“It will become more difficult to communicate between the players. You have to shout quite a bit to communicate, but it’s good for the players to be prepared for what’s in store for them on the pitch,” he said.
Switzerland face favourites Spain in their opening Group H match in Durban on Wednesday.
Vuvuzelas have been controversial since last year’s Confederations Cup, a World Cup dress rehearsal, when several players complained they could not talk through the racket.
Defender Philippe Senderos said while the constant cacophony was an irritant, playing in the English Premier League was also good preparation.
“There is a lot of noise in the stadium, but there is also a great deal of noise in the stadiums in the U.K and we’re used to that,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hitzfeld, the former Champions League winning coach of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, said midfielder Gokhan Inler would be captain in the absence of striker Alexander Frei.
“Gokhan Inler is definitely a player who will become more and more of a major support for our team,” he said.
Switzerland have never beaten Spain in 18 attempts and Hitzfeld said opposing coach Vicente Del Bosque was blessed with the “team of the century with incredible talents”.
”As far as probabilities are concerned, at one point we are going to beat Spain. And why not tomorrow? (Editing by Jon Bramley)