Home » AFCON 2023: Fans cry foul as tickets vanish but stadiums remain empty

AFCON 2023: Fans cry foul as tickets vanish but stadiums remain empty

by Lesley Ngwa
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  • Game attendance for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations has been far below average, despite CAF’s claims of selling out most of the high-end matches.
  • Many fans have expressed their frustration as they cannot get tickets on the days of the matches.
  • Robert Beugre Mambé, the Prime Minister of Cote D’Ivoire, cleared the local organizing committee of any responsibility for ticket sales and explained that they were managed by CAF

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Cote D’Ivoire has been marred by ticketing problems that have left many fans frustrated and angry.

Cameroonians and Guineans were among those who could not enter the Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Yamoussoukro on Monday due to the lack of tickets, despite travelling hundreds of kilometers to watch their teams play.

In a video circulating on social media, two men dressed in the colors of the Indomitable Lions can be heard shouting in French at “sous prefecture”, one of the ticketing points:

“Where are the tickets? We want to buy tickets. We were told to come here, that tickets are sold here at sous prefecture. We’ve come, we still don’t have tickets.”

In another video, a group of fans explain how these tickets are sold to a group of individuals who resell them at much higher prices than the normal amount. The cheapest ticket sells for 5000 francs , but in the black market, this is sold at over 40,000frs.

“Tickets are sold to resellers, who sell these tickets along the streets for 100,000 francs.” The fan cryout

Another Guinean interviewed on the streets expresses how 60% of the Syli National supporters were unable to get tickets for their country’s first game in the 2023 Afcon.

“I am not happy, I did not get the match ticket. Today, 60% of the Guinean community present here today did not get the ticket for the game. We are just here, they did not think of us. Who is to blame?” He asked.

Since the start of the tournament, game attendance has been low. In the opening game between Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea Bissau, only 36,858 people attended the game in a 60,000-seat Alassane Ouattara Stadium.

Nigeria’s games, which were announced as sold out, had only about 9000 supporters on Sunday.

In view of this, Robert Beugre Mambé, Cote D’Ivoire’s prime minister and minister of sport, has stated that ticket sales were managed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), but the local organizing committee will investigate the situation and resolve the issue.

Many Ivorian s, who are displeased with this situation, have called on others to boycott buying tickets from illegal vendors. They condemn all those who sell 5000-franc tickets for 40,000 francs, and urge the local organizing committee and the Ivorian Football Federation to take action.

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