CAIRO. Besides the expansion by eight to 24 teams, the current edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt has had a number new components.
For one to access the stadium, they must either be accredited or have fan identification.
The Fan IDs have been a subject of discussion at the showpiece that is barely a week old.
This innovation to control fans and enforce security was first used by Fifa at last year’s World Cup in Russia. Here in Egypt, a number of local fans have kept away from watching matches because of the permutations set-up by this requirement.
“It is the reason you see the stands empty,” pointed an Egyptian that preferred anonymity as Senegal took on Tanzania in Group C at the June 30 Stadium in Cairo on Sunday.
“There are too many restrictions around the ID and many would prefer to come only for Egypt’s matches but the empty stands are showing a bad image,” he explained.
“It is likely that later in the tournament, the restrictions may be dropped to allow fans come in for the matches,” he added.
Created by registering via https://www.tazkarti.com/, an Afcon Fan ID tag is a requirement by gate officials and match stewards to access the stadium for any match.
The online portal is also the gateway to buying any match ticket and one Fan ID can purchase a maximum six tickets for one Afcon match.
The cheapest ticket the group stages costs 50 Egyptian Pounds (Shs11000) and one can add a dependent aged 3-16 to their Fan ID information.
Gate security swipes the tickets via electronic machines at the entrance for a fan to access the stadium.
The Cairo International Stadium was painted red when the tournament began with hosts Egypt beating Zimbabwe 1-0 on Friday.
On Saturday afternoon, the same facility was empty with only a sizable numbers of fans from Kampala and Kinshasa as Uganda Cranes stunned DR Congo 2-0 in the second Group A match.
Daily Monitor understands that some Cranes’ fans were stranded earlier before kick-off because they had not registered for Fan IDs.
On the same day at the Alexandria Stadium, very few showed up for Group B matches where Nigeria edged Burundi 1-0.
However, Algerians were in plenty but some reportedly accessed the stadium for their match against Kenya in Group C at the June 30 Stadium without the Fan IDs.
Meanwhile, hosts Egypt have deployed the police and army around the stadiums and after thorough checking, gate security officials do not allow fans to carry in mobile phone power banks among other items into the stadium. Uganda play Zimbabwe tomorrow.
AFRICA 2019 - TICKET PRICES
Group Stages: 50 EGP (Shs11000) &
100 EGP (Shs22000)
Round of last 16: 200 EGP
(Shs44000) & 400 EGP (Shs87000)
Quarterfinals: 200 EGP (Shs44000)
& 400 EGP (Shs87000)
Semi-finals: 300 EGP (Shs6600) &
500 EGP (Shs110000)
Final: 500 EGP (Shs110000) & 750