The potentially shocking move comes after a High Court bid
to ban struggle song "Kill the boer" prompted FIFA to study more closely any
potential inferences that may mar the spirit of the tournament.
Sources at FIFA told News24 that the football body wanted to avoid any
potential embarrassment during the World Cup.
Hate speech laws
A detailed study last week of the literal English translations of several
anthems opened a potential minefield for the LOC, sparking fears that
certain lyrics may incite hate speech and fall foul of South Africa's hate
The French anthem in particular set off alarm bells. The anthem's refrain
translates as: "Grab your weapons, citizens! Form your battalions! Let us
march! Let us march! May impure blood water our fields."
Portugal's call to arms "on land and sea, to fight for our homeland, to
march against enemy guns?." also raised eyebrows.
FIFA also singled out Germany; Italy; The Netherlands and Poland as having
potentially provocative anthems. The body is in the process of wading
through each participating country's anthem.
"Banning the singing of anthems at matches is a last resort, but
unfortunately at this stage we feel that we just can't take the risk. Recent
developments have shown how much people read into lyrics, and how they're
"We've also seen the volatile response it invokes and we just can't chance
that," the LOC's Nkosi Bhola told News24. "Hate speech has become an
incredibly sensitive issue in recent weeks, and the potential for that to
spill over could be devastating for fans."