Stadiums will be “packed” for the remaining games at the African Cup of Nations, even if the home team is knocked out, the Confederation of African Football has promised.
CAF spokesman Junior Binyam said he had “no doubt” the crowds would be good for the quarter-finals, which begin on Saturday, as well as the semis and final of the championship, which has struggled previously with attendances.
“Even if the host country is not part of the competition, we will have stadiums packed,” Binyam said. “We don’t have any fear as far as that aspect is concerned.”
The tournament has enjoyed generally good crowds so far, although the first game at the main Bata Stadium not involving hosts Equatorial Guinea had a tiny crowd for a group match involving Tunisia and Congo this week. Binyam called that “a single example” of poor attendance in the 24 matches to date.
CAF has benefited from the desire of home fans to watch their team play at the 35,000-seat Bata Stadium and the fact that venues in Mongomo and Ebebiyin are fairly small.
The quarter-finals will be played as double-headers at Bata Stadium and Malabo Stadium on Saturday and Sunday respectively, meaning fans need only buy one ticket to watch two games. Congo face Democratic Republic of Congo in the first match, before Tunisia play Equatorial Guinea. Ghana take on Guinea before Ivory Coast face Algeria on Sunday.Reuse content