CAF backs Africa Cup of Nations online ticket sales amid criticism

Featured Image: CAF

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has defended its ticketing process for the Africa Cup of Nations despite public criticism.

The opening game of this year’s tournament in the Ivory Coast between the hosts and Guinea-Bissau attracted just 36,858 fans in the 60,012-seat Alassane Outtara Stadium.

Prior to the match, the organising committee (COCAN) had billed it as a sell-out and then claimed the reason for so many empty seats was because of so-called “dead seats”. These include places with reduced visibility or security seats.

This year’s tournament marks the first edition in history that CAF has operated online ticket sales.

“CAF confirms that ticketing for TotalEnergies AFCON Côte d’Ivoire 2023 remains under its responsibility,” read a CAF statement.

“Although there were some printing issues on the first day of the AFCON due to last-minute group purchases of physical tickets, the ticketing system has since been adapted to deal with such requests.

“The system is currently functioning well.

“Over 60% of tickets have been sold in CAF’s online platform internationally.

“Additionally, there are ticket selling points at each host city.”

Organisers said they are continuing to respond in real-time to the challenges that inevitably arise when organising an event of this magnitude anywhere in the world.

There were then fewer than 10,000 fans at the match between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea in the same stadium the next day and swathes of empty seats at Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan for the matches between Egypt and Mozambique, and Ghana and Cape Verde.

In Yamoussoukro, Cameroon and Guinea fans were left angry when they could not gain entrance to their teams’ meeting despite nearly 50% of places going unsold.

Local media reported that Ivorian Prime Minister Robert Beugré Mambé said that he would personally take charge of the problem and that “you will see results within 48 hours” earlier this week.

Prices are varying from around $1.60 (£1.25/€1.45) to $24.

Posted in SportsTagged | |