There is no doubt that the Cranes versus Comoros Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) decider at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole on September 3 is a match every Ugandan would like to watch.
And trust Fufa to make the most from the situation. The national soccer governing body have increased the match ticket fees for the three categories; VVIP, VIP and ordinary. In the last Afcon match against Burkina Faso at Namboole, the VVIP ticket went for Shs120,000 but it will now cost Shs150,000. The VIP ticket has risen from Shs50,000 to Shs60,000 whereas there is an additional Shs5,000 on each of the ordinary tickets.
Yesterday, Fufa's International Matches Organising Committee chairman Patrick Ogwel disclosed to the media at Fufa House in Mengo about the new breakdown. He said that they plan to print only 42,319 tickets to meet Namboole's capacity which will help curb the overcrowding crisis witnessed in previous 'big matches'.
Ogwel said 294 tickets will be printed for the VVIP section at a cost of Shs150,000 (Shs44m). The VIP section will have 5,500 fans paying Shs60,000 (Shs330m). There are also 1,325 VIP complementary tickets the federation will give to dignitaries.
The general section will have 22,630 fully paid up tickets going for Shs25,000 (Shs565.7m).
Fufa has also earmarked 2,570 complementary tickets (bar coded) for its partners to sit in the general wing. The federation has also extended 9,000 discounted tickets (by 18 percent) to its sponsors (Airtel, Bidco and Nile Breweries) which could fetch in about Shs200m. Fufa is expected to rake in about Shs2bn from the gate collections.
"We have made this increment because we have to invest over Shs300m in Cranes preparations," said Ogwel.
"We also want to secure special security at the match venue."
Ogwel cited other operational costs like accommodation and tickets for professional players which he says stretch the Fufa coffers further.
The development comes at a time when the federation has just tabled a whooping Shs3bn Cranes budget to government to cater for the must-win game. Cranes, who last appeared at Afcon in 1978, are tied on 10 points with Burkina Faso and can progress as either Group D winners or as best runners-up.
Source: The Monitor.