Springboks singing National Anthem

Springboks singing along to the National Anthem. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BBP.

National Anthem uproar: RWC choir controversy ignites debate

Rugby World Cup faces backlash over pre-recorded children’s choir national anthems. Sparking debate amongst fans.

Springboks singing National Anthem

Springboks singing along to the National Anthem. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BBP.

The playing of pre-recorded national anthems by a children’s choir before matches has sparked outrage at the Rugby World Cup in France.

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France’s opening match against New Zealand at Parc des Princes saw fans left confused when the iconic “La Marseillaise” anthem failed to whip up its usual fervour. Social media erupted with criticisms of the “botched” and “travesty” of a rendition.

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This national anthem controversy raises questions about the organizers’ decision-making and foresight. While using a children’s choir was well-intentioned, the execution clearly missed the mark.

National anthem controversy raises questions for organizers

The atmosphere went from electric to bewildered silence during the French anthem. Fans from Ireland, Argentina and England also expressed dismay at the lacklustre renditions. Some described them as “haunting,” others as just plain “flat.”

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Instead of evoking pride and unity, the national anthems have become a sore point. The controversy continues as matches progress, with no word yet if organizers will address the issue.

Missed opportunity or organizational fumble

The pre-recorded children’s choir was meant to add heartwarming flair to the national anthems. However, the resulting backlash suggests a failure to anticipate how it would land.

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While creating an inclusive, family-friendly atmosphere is admirable, the World Cup may have underestimated the cultural significance of anthems for fans. Striking the right tone is crucial.

Still hope to get it right

With the tournament in full swing, there’s still time to correct the national anthems. Most hope to see anthems return to their traditional lively deliveries by crowds, adding atmosphere and meaning.

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Others suggest having choirs sing live or mixing recordings with crowd audio. One thing is certain – anthems have struck a chord, just not the one intended.