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Africa Cup of Nations
Dec 13 2012 7:20AM
 
Afcon ticket fiasco
2013 Africa Cup of Nations ticket. Gallo Images
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Patrick Baloyi

With just over one month before the tournament kicks off, the Africa Cup of Nations threatens to leave the South African Football Association red-faced if ticket sales do not improve.

For the first time the local organising committee (LOC) admitted that sales had fallen way behind target.

By yesterday only 62000 tickets out of the 500000 had been sold.

Afcon has been granted a R461 million subsidy by the government.

With December set aside by the LOC to speed up the sale of tickets, nothing is bearing fruit.

LOC communications manager Sipho Sithole said: “It is worrying that the sale of tickets is not doing as well as it should but we are not going to give up on our aim of ensuring that we reach our targets.

“The marketing and advertising side of things are gaining momentum and soon the public will be made aware that a tournament of this magnitude is about to take place.”

Out of the allocated R461m by the government, only R82m went to the LOC for operational costs but still there is low visibility of the tournament in the five host provinces for the Afcon cup.

Gauteng MEC for arts, sports and culture Lebogang Maile said: “It is a serious concern that we find ourselves in such a situation with few weeks before the start of Afcon.

“As the province tasked with the opening and closing ceremonies, we are doing everything in our power to inform the public but it is the LOC who must go all out in all provinces to alert the nation that a tournament of this magnitude is about to take place.

“Tomorrow we will be in Kagiso launching the December football tournaments and it is where we will try to urge the people to buy tickets.”

With most countries flocking into the country on January 7 to prepare for the 16-team tournament, the LOC is still confident of reaching its targets. Afcon gets underway when Bafana Bafana take on Cape Verde at the FNB Stadium 10 days later.

patrickb@thenewage.co.za

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