South Africa’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Local Organising Committee says it will put in place special security measures to ensure that fans do not fall victim to counterfeit tickets during the continental tournament.
Afcon LOC boss Mvuzo Mbebe told reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday that they will try to make it as difficult as possible for scammers to duplicate tournament tickets.
“When you buy your ticket, you will get a voucher or a reference number meaning that there is nobody else in this country who knows how the tickets look like for the tournament. The tickets will have particular features which will not make it easy to duplicate.
“There will be particular features on those tickets in terms of the reference numbers and we’ve embedded certain things somewhere on the tickets and this is only known by our security personnel … fans would never know where those features would be placed,” he said.
Mbebe warned fans not to fall victim to scammers who were already selling vouchers, claiming that they would be used as match tickets for the tournament.
“People have seen the ticket we used during the official announcement of the ticketing sales. They have already started duplicating those tickets. The fact is that the actual tournament tickets are not going to look like that replica ticket, both in terms of design and the look,” he said.
Mbebe said their systems at the stadium would be capable of picking up all counterfeits tickets bought via the black market. Officials will be using an advanced technological system to check the authenticity the tickets.
The LOC is aiming to sell 350 000 to 400 000 tickets between now and the end of December. More than 20 000 tickets had been sold before the final draw last Wednesday.
According to Mbebe, after the final draw in Durban, the Ethiopian and Zambian Federations made requests of 15 000 and 10 000 match tickets respectively.
“We are saying to our local fans, go and buy your tickets now. We want to encourage them not to buy match tickets for Bafana Bafana games only, but also for other national teams,” he said, adding that ambush marketing would not be tolerated during the tournament.
Asked if vuvuzelas would be allowed at the stadiums, Mbebe said: “Vuvuzelas are part of our football culture in South Africa. They create a jovial mood in the stadium. Vuvuzelas are instrument of enjoyment at the stadium, and they are not an instrument of beating up the coach.”
The 2013 Afcon tournament will kick off on January 19, with the opening match between Bafana Bafana and Cape Verde being played at Soccer City in Johannesburg.
The final will be played at the same venue on February 10.
Government has allocated R452 million to the LOC for the continental tournament, of which only R83 million is for the operating costs of the LOC. – Nthambeleni Gabara, SAnews.gov.za