Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Afcon

Mvuzo Mbebe and Hicham El Amrani © Backpagepix

Afcon LOC ready - Mbebe



While it expects some bumps along the way, the Africa Cup of Nations local organising committee (Afcon LOC) has reiterated its stance that it is ready to host the tournament, which kicks off this weekend.

"When we started this journey, we said we would try our best to make the continent proud, make the Confederation of African Football (Caf) proud, and ensure spectators get a good experience," LOC chief executive Mvuzo Mbebe said on Friday.

"We have tried our best, and there will no doubt be glitches along the way and challenges in certain areas, but we believe we are ready."

Hicham El Amrani, the Caf general secretary, confirmed the target of half-a-million ticket sales had been reached. More than 560 000, of a capacity 850 000, had been sold, which was a record for the continental competition.

"I do not feel it's appropriate to compare the ticket sales of a tournament of this size to the (2010) World Cup," El Amrani said.

"Ticket sales are not low. In the history of Afcon, we have never filled the stadiums to this level at this stage."

Only the opening game had been sold out on the eve of the tournament.

Mbebe said they were confident of filling the National Stadium in Johannesburg for the final as well. While he was pleased they had reached their target, he admitted there were concerns about poor ticket sales in a couple of host cities.

"We are still worried about Rustenburg and Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) and we want to push to try and sell more tickets in these areas," he said.

Less than 60 000 seats had been sold for seven matches at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. While over 100 000 had been sold for the eight games at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, the LOC hoped for a boost in ticket sales during the tournament.

Caf was pleased with preparations, according to El Amrani, and was satisfied with the LOC's efforts.

"All teams have arrived. There were rumours that some teams would not show up, but they are here.

"With security there are absolutely no worries, and with other organisational matters we are very satisfied."

Mbebe said more than 4400 security personnel had been deployed for the duration of the competition.

"We want people to go to the stadiums and enjoy themselves without distractions, so security will be tight.

"There are also over 2500 volunteers, old and young, who are here to make everyone's lives easier."

The tournament starts on Saturday with the opening match between South Africa and Cape Verde Islands at the National Stadium in Nasrec.

A total of 32 matches will be played in five host cities – Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and Rustenburg – with 16 teams taking part in the three-week showpiece.

South Africa was appointed as the host nation in August 2011, due to political turmoil in Libya, which had originally won the bid.

"South Africa had a year or so to prepare for this tournament," El Amrani said.

"We have to appreciate what they have done. Organising this event is not easy."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Pltv: Football Today - 2 September
Tue, 02 Sep @ 05:00
Tue, 02 Sep @ 11:15

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
Where are Kenya's strikers?
I was watching the English Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea on Saturday night and...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Spurs will challenge for the title
It was in my room in Rustenburg, during the last Afcon, that I noticed the style that Mauricio...

John Dykes
United in condemnation
The British football press showed tremendous solidarity this week when they all leaped on the same...

Neil Tovey
Borrowing from best practice
The late Irish scribe and poet Oscar Wilde once famously opined that “youth is wasted on the...

Sunday Oliseh
Man U need more than an 'Angel'
Just two games into the English Premier League and Manchester United are five points (synonymous to...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Good signs for the Reds despite loss
A brace from Stevan Jovetic and a Sergio Aguero stunner ensured that Manchester City took all three...