Pretoria: The approval of funding for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) to be held in South Africa next year has been received with much enthusiasm by the Local Organising Committee (LOC).
Government has made an allocation of R452 million to the LOC for the continental tournament, of which only R83 million is for the operating costs of the LOC. 2013 Afcon LOC chief communications officer Sipho Sithole said the remainder of the funding will be used for running the entire tournament at the five host cities.
The LOC chief executive officer, Mvuzo Mbebe said: “We are fully aware of our government’s national priorities and are fully appreciative of the allocation we have received.
“We believe this will go a long way in ensuring that all the logistics of organising an event of this nature are in place such as security, health and medical, transport, accommodation, and other areas that are imperative for us to host a tournament that is seamless and is of high quality.”
Mbebe said November will be a crucial period for them to rally the nation and the continent to get behind the tournament.
Together with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) their main objective will be to ensure that tickets are sold so that stadiums will be filled to the brim.
“We will now embark on a massive public awareness campaign through advertisements on radio, television, print as well as outdoor campaigns which will include outdoor billboards, street posters, host cities beautification, outdoor public activities.
“I’m happy to report that we sold more than 20 000 tickets even before final draw on Wednesday. Now that the games have been confirmed, more tickets will be sold,” he said.
Mbebe said the LOC has now introduced the second phase of Public Ticket Sales, further announcing that a new discount structure for those who will buy tickets between 25 October and 20 December.
He called upon the nation and the continent to buy tickets and receive up to five percent discount for Category one and two tickets and up to 10percent discount on Category 3 tickets.
“This is the last and final opportunity for individual ticket buyers to buy discounted tickets. They must grab this opportunity and enjoy what will be a spectacular soccer experience on African soil.
“We are quite pleased that we have far exceeded our Phase 1 target for the purchase of 10 000 tickets since 26 September,” he said.
He also expressed his full confidence that more tickets will be sold following the final draw has been conducted.
“We are now inviting the nation and the continent to follow their teams. Since the tournament will be played at the time when learners in South Africa will be starting their new academic year, we encourage soccer fans to buy these tickets before the festive season and before learners go back to school in January,” said Mbebe.
Category 1 tickets for those people who want to sit closer to the pitch and in the centre lid and for both the opening match and ceremony they will be expected to pay R145, a further R65 for group stages, R95 for quarter finals, 135 for semi-finals.
They will pay R65 for the 3rd and 4th play-offs and R190 for the both the final and closing ceremony. Tickets for the fans who want to sit behind the goal post and closer to the pitch (category 2), for the opening match and opening ceremony they will pay R120, for group stages R55 and for the quarter finals 85, semifinals 115, while tickets for the 3rd and 4th play offs will be R55. For the closing ceremony and final match, they will pay R145.
The last category for those who prefer to sit in the upper stands of the stadium, it would be R90 for both opening ceremony and opening match, R45 for all group stage matches, R70 for quarter finals and R45 for 3rd and 4th play offs.
Tickets for the final match and closing ceremony for this category are R90. However, the LOC will announce special packages for those soccer fans who want to follow their teams during the tournament.
“The proposed packages to be known as ‘follow your team’ will act like a ‘seasonal ticket’ allowing ticket holders to follow their teams up to the end of the tournament.
“We will soon announce a discount structure in due course in relation to this package and also the date when these tickets will be made available,” he said.
Tickets can still be purchased via a call centre on 087 980 3000 or via Internet on www.afcon2013.eqtickets.com or at more than 300 selected Spar outlets throughout the country.
CAF Hicham El Amrani, the secretary-general said all the 16 teams have also been allocated hotels in the five cities 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,” he said.