May 1 – The Egypt Football Association (EFA) will re-examine ticket prices for this summer’s Africa Cup Nations tickets after an angry outcry from fans protesting at the cost of tickets for host nation matches.
On Monday EFA announced ticket prices, saying that the prices were set according to the ticket prices of previous, international tournaments and after consultation with CAF. In the same statement the governing body also encouraged people to purchase tickets for games that did not involve the hosts.
The cheapest ticket in the group stages was set at approximately $6, but tickets for an Egypt match have been priced higher with admission costing almost $12. Tickets will allow fans to attend double headers on the same day, but the move still sparked a backlash from local fans and celebrities alike, including actor Mahmoud El-Bezzawy and Liverpool striker Mo Salah. The average salary in Egypt is about $186.
Former Tottenham Hotspur and Egyptian international footballer Ahmed Hossam Mido expressed his dismay on Twitter. He wrote: “I’m shocked at prices for general admission tickets at the Africa Nations Cup…Has soccer suddenly become a game for the rich?”
Liverpool star Salah said on Twitter: ”Don’t sit at the front or else you’ll have to pray for the national team.”
In response to the outcry the EFA will now revise ticket prices for Egypt games. “Minister Dr Ashraf Sobhi has called Mr Hani Abo Rida and asked him to reduce the tickets price to allow the fans to attend the big event,” read a statement from the ministry of youth and sports.
“We will think again about the tickets prices with the Local Organizing Committee will think again about the prices,” said EFA chairman Rida. “We are trying to bring the fans back to the stadiums again and that’s the main aim for us at this tournament.”
In 2018 Egyptian football fans were allowed to attend domestic league games for the first time in three years, but heavy restrictions remain over security fears. Egypt will host the Africa Cup of Nations for the fifth time this summer. It is the first time the finals will be played in an expanded 24-team format. Cameroon are the defending champions.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1571413409labto1571413409ofdlr1571413409owedi1571413409sni@o1571413409fni1571413409