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AFCON 2013 - Disgraceful attendance

26 January 2013, 22:12

The sports minister, Fikile Mbalula, told us that AFCON 2013 will be a success and the stadiums would be filled.  They haven’t been.

The eThikweni mayor, James Nxomalo, told us that they were targeting 50000 tickets per game at the Moses Mabhida.  It hasn’t happened.

My favourite comment comes from the Nelson Mandela Bay executive major, Zanoxolo Wayile, who said ticket sales were “going well”.  The Nelson Mandela Bay stadium then had an attendance of 7000 for the Ghana – Congo game and 20000 for the Mali – Niger game.  The capacity is 48000.  One fan at the stadium tweeted “What a disgrace! Wow”

Attendance figures so far

So far, there have been 12 games hosted in 5 venues.  Attendance for each venue is as follows and goes from best to worst:

1.       Moses Mahbida – 60%

2.       FNB – 39.5%

3.       Nelson Mandela – 24.5%

4.       Mbombela – 22.5%

5.       Royal Bafokeng – 12%

The total attendance figure stands at 33%.

Worst attendance

As mentioned above, the worst attendance so far goes to the Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg which hosted the Ivory Coast – Togo game which had an attendance of 2000, and the Tunisia – Algeria game which has an attendance of 8000.  The stadium capacity is 42000.  Some of the tweets from fans at the games:

·         “Worst attendance I have ever seen!”

·         “Absolutely shocking attendance!”


Naturally, the two biggest attendances belonged to the stadiums which hosted Bafana Bafana.  Their opener at the FNB stadium drew an attendance of 50000 (52.5%) while the attendance at their second games versus Angola at the Moses Mahbida stadium drew an attendance of 40000 (74%). 

Ticket prices

Unlike the high prices of World Cup 2010 tickets, the tickets for this year’s Afcon group stages range from R50 – R70.  This means that for only R50, you can attend BOTH games on the night as two games are played each night at the same stadium.  

Quality of football

So far, only 18 goals have been scored in the 12 games played.  That is 1.5 goals per game.  The two major leagues with the lowest goals per game are South Africa and Greece with 2.2 goals per game.   No team has scored more than two goals in one game so far and the most goals in one game is four (Ghana vs Congo 2 - 2)

Of the 12 games played, 7 have been draws.  That is 58.3%.  The average percentage of draws in major leagues is about 30%.

So far it’s been very disappointing so let’s hope things pick up in the knock out stages.  Bafana vs Morocco has apparently been sold out so that’s a start.  And Bafana’s recent success against Angola may have upped the spirits of South Africans which may lead a better attendance.

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