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Japan-made whistle music to referees’ ears

Courtesy of Ryuji Sato

Molten Corp.’s Valkeen whistle

The Yomiuri ShimbunIt’s not just the Samurai Blue who are performing well at the FIFA World Cup in Russia — a Japan-made referee whistle is also making a great showing.

The Valkeen whistle developed by Hirsohima-based sporting goods company Molten Corp. had been used in over half of the 44 World Cup games as of the morning of June 28, according to the company, which confirmed this figure via video images of the games.

Referees at the World Cup are allowed to choose their whistles, as FIFA does not have rules on this point.

Soccer whistles need to be capable of making sound immediately so they can promptly stop the game when fouls and other incidents occur. Their sound must also be sufficiently sharp to convey a tone of warning.

After testing a number of prototypes at stadiums and receiving advice from Yuichi Nishimura — who has served as a referee for international matches — the firm completed development of the Valkeen whistle in 2009.

Equipped with resonant tubes in both the upper and lower parts, the whistle has a four-octave range and a strong, clear-cut tone that reaches players, even amid loud cheers from the crowd.

The Valkeen whistle made a good impression at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, as it was not drowned out by the loud sounds of the vuvuzela, a local musical instrument that filled stadiums during games. As a result, referees from many countries started to use it.Speech

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