The African Cup of Nations’ organising committee pledged on Tuesday to review ticket costing after a backlash from Egyptian football fans and superstar player Mohamed Salah over high prices.
Tickets for the summer tournament, which will take place in Egypt, start at 100 pounds (about $6, just over five euros) for the cheapest admission and graduate up to 500 pounds for games not involving the host nation.
But Egypt’s games will be priced higher — at 200 pounds for the cheapest ticket, and 600 pounds for the most expensive.
Egyptian football fans quickly lashed out on social media when the pricing structure was unveiled on Monday.
Hany Abou Rida, chairman of the local organising committee and also head of the Egyptian Football Association, said Tuesday a pricing review would be “aimed primarily at general admission ticket prices for the national team games”.
Former Tottenham Hotspur and Egyptian international footballer Ahmed Hossam Mido said on Twitter on Monday “I’m shocked at prices for general admission tickets at the Africa Nations Cup…Has soccer suddenly become a game for the rich?”
“Football was and always will be a game for the poor,” he added.
Living costs have soared since Egypt devalued the pound and slashed subsidies in order to receive a $12 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund in 2016.
Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah said on Twitter “don’t sit at the front or else you’ll have to pray for the national team”.
Seats at the front of stadiums are the most expensive.
Egypt will host the Cup of Nations for the fifth time this June and July, with 24 teams participating for the first time in an expanded format.
Egyptian football fans were allowed to attend domestic league games regularly for the first time in three years only last year.
Heavy restrictions had been imposed due to repeated severe violence between fans and security forces.
But supporters must still provide their details to the security services in order to gain entry to grounds.
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