Organizers of the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament in Côte d'Ivoire yesterday announced on Monday that they would take a number of measures to ensure more crowded stadiums following the host nation's opening match against Guinea-Bissau. Attendance was disappointing.
The match was held last Saturday at the “Alassane Ouattara” stadium in Anyama, north of the capital Abidjan, with about 37,000 spectators. The stadium can accommodate about 60,000 spectators.
The announcement of general ticket sales sparked controversy on social media in the French-speaking West African country, with some Ivorians pointing out that people who bought dozens of tickets online had a responsibility to hype them up before they were sold. Unable to resell in time.
“At the end of the first day of play, many fans expressed concerns that the stadiums were not completely full,” CAF and the Africa Cup of Nations Organizing Committee said in a press release.
They initially explained that of the 60,000 seats in the stadium, only 50,786 seats were “available” for the match after excluding so-called “dead” seats, which are safety seats, alternative seats and lower seats. Visibility seats.
Organizers added that 47,000 tickets had been sold or given to companies and institutions for last Saturday's match and they “wish to reassure residents that measures are in place to ensure easy access to the match box office”.
These measures ensure, inter alia, the possibility of reselling tickets allocated to foreign fans or to companies that have not found a buyer for the tickets.
The statement continued: “Recognizing the strong demand for online ticketing platforms and the difficulties it may cause, the AU and the organizing committee are actively encouraging people to purchase tickets at physical points of sale.”
They pointed out that there are approximately 50 sales points across the country.
The statement added that “we will accept the challenge not to play any matches in empty stadiums”, a promise made by tournament organizing committee president Francois Amescia before the game.
Last Sunday and Monday's games were held in venues that were not yet full. The match between seven-time African champions Egypt was played to almost empty stands at the Felix Ouvet-Boigny Stadium, which has a capacity of about 33,000. audience.
In the same stadium, Ghanaian and Cape Verdean fans made up the majority of the crowd, numbering about 12,000, while local fans were conspicuously absent.
Attendances for the first round of the African Cup of Nations are usually low, with the subsequent knockout rounds becoming more competitive.