Sheffield-based musicians who follow the England football team have been banned from next year’s World Cup Finals.
Officials for the football tournament in Brazil have added instruments to a list of items banned from stadiums next summer – casting doubt on whether the England band will be able to play on the terraces.
But members of the 10-strong brass band, who have been following England around the world since 1996, said they remained confident they will be allowed into games – despite Ron DelMont, World Cup managing director, announcing musical instruments will be banned from venues.
Mr DelMont, speaking ahead of today’s tournament draw, said: “Brazil doesn’t need instruments to enhance what you are going to experience in the stadium.”
However, England band member and Sheffield Wednesday fan John Hemmingham said he is not worried.
The former Owls Trust chief executive said: “It is normal for venues to have a long list of banned items, such as firecrackers and instruments, but official organised bands have always been allowed in for previous tournaments so we are not worried.
“Officially instruments are banned from Wembley but we are always allowed to play there for example.
“The list of banned items needs to be in place to stop thousands of fans taking in instruments, because it would be chaos then, but small official bands like ours tend to be allowed in.”
He said band members would still be buying tickets for the tournament.
The band was allowed into England’s opening match of Euro 2012, but later had their instruments confiscated – a decision which ended up causing something of a diplomatic incident, with the Football Association complaining to UEFA, which overturned the ban and allowed the band to play on for the rest of England’s stay.
The band also planned to perform at the 2008 Olympics in China, but were banned from taking the stadium so played outside.