A PRESS conference meant to shed light on confusion over ticket sales for last Sunday's opening Orange Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) matches in Port Elizabeth was cancelled yesterday.
Frustrated and angry soccer lovers are no closer to finding out why – despite a less-than-full Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday – they were told the matches between Ghana and DRC, and Mali and Niger were "sold out".
Local Organising Committee spokesman Sipho Sithole promised on Sunday he would look into the matter as they too had received complaints about ticket availability.
However, on Monday he said all tickets allocated for the games were sold out despite the seemingly average turn-out of 20979 people.
Sithole could not be reached after the cancelled press conference yesterday.
Siva Moodaley, 71, of Malabar, the son of Mala Moodaley who founded the EP Soccer Board, said he and two of his friends had tried in vain to get tickets.
"On Friday morning we called Sunridge Spar and they told us the tickets were sold out. Gelvandale Spar told us the same thing," he said.
"Sunridge Spar told me I could not get the tickets at the stadium also. I don't know or understand why they did that, but maybe their machines were offline."
Moodaley was determined to get tickets for tomorrow's games.
"I was a bit sad about missing the games because the games were right here at home and I could not go. That is really pathetic," he said.
"I missed the atmosphere of being at the stadium – though you don't miss anything when you are watching a game on TV."
Gelvandale Spar manager Yusuf Gelderbloem said the Afcon system did not allow them to book tickets.
"The sales system just showed red, meaning the tickets were sold out," he said. – Mkhululi Ndamase