The African Cup of Nations’ organising committee have reduced ticket prices after a backlash from Egyptian football fans last month over the costs.
Tickets for the Egyptian national team’s matches in the summer tournament, which will take place in the country, were initially priced at 200 Egyptian Pounds (about R170) for the cheapest while the most expensive tickets sold for 600 pounds ( roughly R670).
“The committee… has decided to reduce the price of general admission tickets for Egypt’s matches in the first round for the competition from 200 to 150 pounds (about R125),” organizers said on Twitter.
AFCON ticket prices reduced for Egypt matches
The organizing committee claim the reductions took place “to ease the burden off of Egyptian soccer fans”.
Egypt has an average monthly salary that hovers around R3000, according to figures issued by the government and independent aid agencies.
The North African nation devalued their currency and slashed subsidies in order to receive a $12 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund in 2016 which has seen the cost of living skyrocket. They will host the competition for the fifth time this June and July, with 24 teams participating for the first time in an expanded format. Egypt was chosen ahead of South Africa in a hastily arranged bidding process to replace nominated AFCON hosts Cameroon.
AFCON Games not involving the host nation are set at a slightly lower price.
Due to civil unrest in Egypt local football supporters were allowed to attend domestic league games regularly for the first time in three years only last season.
Repeated violent incidents between fans and security forces resulting in dozens of deaths has led to a massive government crackdown on footbal hooliganism.
AFCON a ticket to see global stars
The tournament will be the first AFCON hosted between seasons having previously been held in January of every second year. Barring injury two out of the three African stars who topped the English Premier League scorers will turn out in the 2019 AFCON tournament, Mo Salah for hosts Egypt, Sadio Mane for Senegal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Gabon failed to qualify.