To the dismay of many and the joy of some, the horn-like drone of the vuvuzelas served as the soundtrack to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The African instrument became a symbol of the competition, a source of joy, headaches, and numerous controversies.
Last week, Brazilian president Dilma Roussef unveiled the caxirola, a yellow-and-green fist-sized instrument fashioned by the artist Carlinhos Brown that sounds like a maraca and that is set to overshadow vuvuzelas.
“I think the caxirola is not only related to soccer, but also to our country’s great capability to create an instrument that is much prettier than the vuvuzela,” Roussef said during the event.
That may be true, but unfortunately for Roussef and Brazil, the caxirola is also proving to be a natural projectile when placed in the hands of angry soccer fans.
On Sunday, a heated Brazilian championship game between Vitoria and Bahia was repeatedly interrupted when hundreds of fans hurled maraca-like missiles towards players on the field.
Though no one was injured, the incident raised concerns at FIFA about the instrument’s viability for the 2013 Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup.
"FIFA and the local organizing committee will analyze the situation and will reconsider the caxirolas as items approved for the Confederations Cup and World Cup, for safety reasons," FIFA said in a statement following the Brazilian instrument’s debut.
It is not clear what the World Cup organizing committee will do if FIFA bans the caxirola, but it is unlikely that vuvuzelas will make a comeback either way.