Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
ZIFA have urged football supporters to embrace technology by buying online the tickets for the upcoming AFCON qualifier between Zimbabwe and Congo-Brazzaville set for the National Sports Stadium next month.
The sales opened yesterday, with the association’s spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela expressing optimism that the system will help eliminate the chaos at the gates and possible financial leakages.
The tickets are going on sale just over seven weeks before the match and will be sold online using EcoCash, Visa card, Telecash and Vpayments.
To avoid the chaos that usually obtains at the gates, there will be no ticket sales at the venue on match day.
“The era of confusion is now a thing of the past. The electronic tickets are on sale now and the beauty of it is that you can buy the tickets online in the comfort of your home or workplace.
“This pre-sale ticket system enables you to plan ahead. The tickets are very secure and I am sure there will not be any delays at the gates. It’s something many fans had not been used to, but we are encouraging them to embrace the new system. The era of chaos at the gates is over.
“We are also encouraging people to come early on the match day. There will be entertainment activities before the match and also we are working on bar and catering,” said Gwesela.
The Warriors, who top Group G with eight points from five games going into the last group matches, will host Congo on March 24. They need just one point to qualify for the finals to be held in Egypt in June and July. Only the top two teams will go through to the finals, but as it stands, all the four sides in Group B have a chance of qualifying depending on the results on match day. Liberia are second with seven points, while the DRC are third on six points and Congo-Brazzaville have five points.
ZIFA have set the cheapest ticket at $10. Bays 15-18 are now pegged at $50, while those fans that want to watch the game in the VVIP enclosure have to dig deep into their pockets for as much as $200 for the VVIP ticket. Gwesela said whether one is using hard currency, bond, or any other mode of payment, the ticket price remained the same.
“Remember we are in a multi-currency system, so we use the official rate, which is 1:1 between US dollar and bond.
“Tickets can be bought online at www.clicknpay.africa wherever you are, even in the UK, US or Nigeria. The online tickets come through your email and you can download it to your phone. Come with it to the gates for scanning.
“Physical tickets are sold at selected outlets across the country. All these are system -generated and no one can forge a QR code which is scanned at the gates. Tickets not coming from our system are rejected by the system and that person will be ejected and interrogated. The tickets are the safest and can be bought using EcoCash, Visa card, Telecash and Vpayments. Every online purchase is recorded in the system, so everything is open,” said Gwesela.
The ticketing system was designed by Click & Pay, a privately registered Zimbabwean company that offers a wide range of Information and Communication Technology products. The ticket providers, who also do retail, art, travel, business and general events, assured football supporters that the tickets for the Warriors match will be safe and reliable.
“The company has built its name on two of its founding locally made innovative products; the secure, most reliable electronic ticketing platform and E-commerce initiative. Our team of leading engineers and system architects promise to revolutionise the digital payments space in Africa and transform its economies by enabling convenience, reliability, efficiency and affordability. The state of the art Click & Pay platform offers secure, robust and reliable online services to both merchants and their customers as well as individuals wishing to transact from anywhere in the world,” reads the company’s website.
ZIFA board member finance Philemon Machana also added his voice and noted that the move was a culmination of a process they had been quietly working on for some time.
“This is actualisation of a vision that we have always had and if it succeeds as we believe it will, we want it to be a regular feature at all our home games.
“We would also want going forward to see this cascading down to our affiliates and that with time ZIFA should procure out own software for that,’’ Machana said.