SAO PAULO (AP) — The days of the caxirola, Brazil's version of the vuvuzela, may be over even before the Confederations Cup begins in June.
FIFA and the local 2014 World Cup organizing committee said Friday they are reconsidering whether to allow fans to use the maraca-like instrument during the warm-up tournament. The decision came after police in northeastern Brazil banned the instruments from football stadiums because of security concerns.
It is the second World Cup in a row there has been a controversy involving local instruments used by fan. Throughout the 2010 event in South Africa there was debate about the use of vuvuzelas — plastic horns which created a din that drowned out all other crowd noise.
The caxirolas will not be allowed at the Arena Fonte Nova this weekend in the final of the Bahia state final because fans upset about their team's loss last month threw the green-and-yellow objects onto the pitch, forcing the match to be briefly interrupted.
"The local organizing committee and FIFA are reevaluating the authorization granted to the caxirola as an approved item" during the Confederations Cup, the committee said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.
It said they would announce the decision on whether to ban the instrument at a later date. FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke will be in Brazil next week to inspect some of the host cities for the World Cup and the Confederations Cup, the warm-up tournament among continental champions which begins June 15.
FIFA approved the caxirola as the official instrument of the 2014 World Cup, but there was widespread criticism after the objects were hurdled onto the pitch at the Arena Fonte Nova, prompting Brazil Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo to say that what happened was "not good news."
Rebelo, who is in charge of Brazil's preparation for the World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics, said he didn't think the caxirola would be a problem during the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, but Bahia state police decided it would be safer to keep the instruments off the stands this weekend.
"It was decided to include the caxirola in the list of banned items at the Arena Fonte Nova," the Bahia police said in a statement before Salvador city rivals Bahia and Vitoria play on Sunday.
The hand-sized caxirola, which costs about $15, produces a continuous rattling sound that is softer than the one produced by the much-criticized vuvuzelas.
It is based on the African instrument caxixi, which is played during the Capoeira, a popular afro-Brazilian martial art. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said the instrument would come in handy to "to celebrate the goals, to celebrate our athletes" at next year's World Cup.
But critics said the caxirola would produce an atmosphere that is not characteristic to football matches in Brazil, which are dominated by chants and percussion instruments. They also said the hissing sound produced by thousands of caxirolas shaken at the same time would create a nuisance like the vuvuzelas.
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