Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
TICKETS for the Warriors’ decisive African Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo-Brazzaville in Harare next month go on sale today and fans can purchase them online.
The match will be held on the weekend of March 22-24 in Harare.
A point is all Zimbabwe need to qualify for the finals, as the Warriors top Group G with eight points from five games going into the last group matches.
The Warriors lead Liberia by a point, while the DR Congo are third on six points and Congo-Brazzaville have five points.
The top two teams will go through to the finals and all the four teams have a chance of qualifying depending on the results on match day. To avoid the chaos that usually obtains at the gates, there will be no ticket sales at the venue on match day.
“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,” said Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela.
“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,” he said.
Fans intending to watch the Warriors’ tie have to dig deep into their pockets for as much as $200 for the VVIP ticket.
The VVIP ticket rose four-fold from the previous price of $50 when Zimbabwe hosted DRC in the last home match in October last year. Entrance fees to the bays 15-18 also rose from $10 to $50, while the cheapest ticket for the rest of the ground will be $10.
Gwesela said the rise in gate charges was justified considering the skyrocketing costs of hosting matches of such magnitude.
“As an association we always plan ahead. These prices were agreed upon after wide consultations and we believe they are in line with what is obtaining on the ground. Generally prices of almost everything have been going up.
“So we just needed to be practical because Zifa does not operate in isolation. We are also in Zimbabwe. Costs of running an international match of this magnitude have gone up,” said Gwesela.
Zifa needs at least $200 000 to cater for all the overheads, which include air tickets for all the players and officials, transport and accommodation, among other costs.