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AFCON 2019: Why are fans failing to fill stadia?

AFCON 2019: Why are fans failing to fill stadia?

Egypt

Egypt is the only team well able to attract 70,000 fans in the ongoing African Cup of Nations in the North African nation.

Apart from the Pharaohs, the stadia are generally empty when other competitors clash with an average 5,000 fans.

Journalists covering the competition are surprised at the lack of public enthusiasm, despite the presence of some of the biggest names in world football.

Egyptians have the opportunity to see these players on the field, and they are not filling the stadiums like we expect them to.

‘‘When we see Ryahd Mahrez, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah playing in empty stadiums, it’s amazing. They are players who attract large crowds. Elsewhere in the world, we run to see them play. The Egyptians have the opportunity to see these players on the field, and they are not filling the stadiums like we expect them to”, said Senegalese journalist, Haroun Adam.

Local media sources say that match attendance is also low due to the high ticket prices for the average the Egyptian citizen. They also say that matches are scheduled during business hours.

Another hurdle is the administrative difficulties in acquiring an Egyptian visa.

The procedures for acquiring ticket on the website of the AFCON Organizing Committee are also seen as complex.

During the FIFA World Cup last year, Russia allowed visa-free entry for fans and supporters if they obtained fan identification documents and showed proof of buying a match ticket.

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