Africa: ‘Our Main Objective Is to Fill All Stadiums’

ballNow that the matches have been confirmed, it’s all systems go for the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa!

A day after the final draw for next year’s event was conducted in Durban, Hicham El Amrani, the secretary-general of Caf, and Mvuzo Mbebe, the chief executive of the local organising committee, briefed the media about the latest developments.

Both El Amrani and Mbebe were united in their praise of the final draw, and now the hard work begins to ensure tickets are sold and stadiums are filled in South Africa next year.

“Our main objective is to fill all stadiums,” El Amrani said. “This is our biggest priority now. We started a ticketing strategy some time ago, and I’m happy to report that we sold more than 20 000 tickets even before Wednesday’s draw. Now that the games have been confirmed, more tickets will be sold.”

Mbebe echoed El Amrani’s sentiments, saying South Africans and keen Cup of Nations fans would find the tickets very cheap. “We have considered many factors when deciding on the pricing. Our cheapest ticket is $4 … the most expensive is $25. These are affordable prices and we have every reason to believe we’ll have packed stadiums.

“When we opened the ticketing process last month, our target was to sell 10 000 tickets before the draw. We have doubled that. This shows that there’s huge interest in the Cup of Nations,” Mbebe said.

By December, a month before the competition begins, the LOC have set a target of 75 percent of tickets sold.

“We will now be looking at attracting fans from other countries, now that they know who is playing where, when and what time,” said El Amrani.

All 16 teams have also been allocated hotels and spent Thursday inspecting facilities at the four venues – Durban, Mbombela, Rustenburg and Port Elizabeth.

“We made sure that we put teams in hotels that are not too far from training venues. When the draw was made, each team knew immediately what field they will be using, and where they will be staying. The process was fair,” El Amrani said.

Meanwhile, the Caf secretary-general confirmed goalline technology won’t be used at next year’s Cup of Nations. “We have to wait for Fifa to evaluate this process before we can implement it. It’s too late for next year’s tournament considering that it is starting in less than 80 days’ time,” he said.

The winners of the Nations Cup will receive US$1,5-million.

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