The organising committee of this summer’s 2019 African Cup of Nations have officially reconsidered the price of tickets, reducing the lowest category in Egypt’s matches from EGP 200 to EGP 150 in the competition’s first round after widespread controversy broke out on the issue in Egypt in late April.
“The organising committee decided to reduce the price of the lowest category ticket in Egypt’s matches from EGP 200 to EGP 150 just in the African Cup first round to relive the burden on Egyptian football fans and also to increase the attending numbers in the stands to support the national team and enjoy the tournament on home soil,” reads a statement by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) issued early Wednesday.
On 29 April, ticket prices of the matches featuring the Egyptian team were announced at four tiers: EGP 200, EGP 400, EGP 600 and EGP 2,500 (approx. $145).
Tickets of other teams’ matches were set at three tiers: EGP 100 (approx. $6), EGP 300, and EGP 500.
Many football fans, sports figures, and even actors voiced criticism over the ticket prices, especially for the lowest category in Egypt’s matches, which were considered too high for the average Egyptian football fan.
Egypt’s Minister of Sports Ashraf Sobhy quickly intervened, promising a reassessment of the prices.
“The deduction decision came after we put into consideration a number of factors, like ticket prices of previous tournaments, the population in Egypt, the average income of Egyptians, costs of the stadiums, and finally the current marketing value of this tournament,” explained Wednesday’s EFA statement.
“The organising committee hoped to make a bigger reduction in the price of the lowest category ticket, or even making it for free, but the factors of setting the prices of tickets in big tournaments prevented them,” the statement concluded.
This summer will see the first-ever 24-team Nations Cup.The Pharaohs, Egypt, will kick off the tournament by playing Zimbabwe on 21 June, with the final scheduled on 19 July.
Egypt is seeking to win the prestigious title for the first time since 2010, the last of their record seven victories.
* The exchange rate for the Egyptian pound is $1=EGP 17.03, according to the Central Bank of Egypt on 15 May.