Eric Binfon, President Ticketing Committee - COCAN.
You recently announced that tickets for the AFCON will be available in December, could you explain how the process will go on and how the tickets can be acquired?
The first priority of the ticketing committee is to create the online sales platform which is at the verge of completion. This platform would permit all spectators who wish to acquire their tickets and pay online. This is a simple platform that users will click and follow up just as if you want to buy goods online to do so. It will be open by the beginning of December and all spectators home and abroad who wish to purchase their tickets online will follow the platform and they will purchase their tickets. Next, there will be Kiosques where tickets will be sold. They will be available in all the host cities of the AFCON. Spectators will be able to go physically and buy their tickets. All Kiosques will be able to sell all tickets for all the stadia and all the matches at the same time. A Cameroonian can buy tickets at once and save the trouble of running after tickets.
What measures have you taken to avoid trafficking of these tickets especially looking at what happened during the CHAN?
We have taken adequate measures to avoid trafficking. There was no trafficking of tickets during CHAN. During CHAN we used thermal tickets and all the sales were physical. There were no fraudulent tickets in town. The only issue that we had was the misunderstanding of spectatators like what happened in Douala about the availability of tickets. The Japoma stadium is a 50,000 seater stadium. During CHAN, 25 per cent of the stadium was authorised for use. This 25 per cent represent 12,500 spectators. When they say 12,500 tickets, not all are for sale because VVIP tickets and VIP tickets are not for sale. This means a good chunk of the tickets were not for sale bringing down the quota to about 9,500 tickets. With other requirements due to the competition like the quota that goes to sponsors and stakeholders which is mandatory you realise that we are left with about 7,000 to 8,000 tickets. Imagine the sales of 8,000 tickets in a populated city like Douala for a very crucial match that Cameroon is playing. Can it take two hours to sell all the tickets in Douala? For the AFCON, we do not know the quota that will be authorised. No matter what happens, COCAN is doing everything possible so that there should be no trafficking. During CHAN we used thermal tickets which are almost void of falsification. This time, we have gone a little step higher. Apart from just using that material, we put in place other measures to follow up and check any eventual trafficking.
Given that there will be high demand, what mechanisms have you put in place to avoid shortages?
We will understand that our stadiums have limited capacity. All we can do is to assure Cameroonians that tickets will be on basis of first come first serve. If we put 60,000 tickets for example for the opening match in the Yaounde-Olembe stadium, for sure we will have more than 60,000 people who want to go to the field. It will certainly get finish. The only way Cameroonians can avoid or fight against this shortage is to come first and get the ticket. We should cultivate the habit of doing things timely. We assure Cameroonians that they will have tickets if they come on time.