Millions of African football fanatics dream of being at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) to aid their country wide groups, however, no longer every person can find the money for to accomplish that.
As it turns out, even people who can have the funds for it are limited via the notorious difficulties Africans face when they travel inside the continent as Nigerian football fanatics and reporters are finding out with visa packages to journey to Egypt, host kingdom of AFCON.
Despite applying within the required time-body and having the necessary media accreditation from Africa’s football governing body, several journalists remain stranded without visas even after the match has kicked off.
“It’s taking longer to process than they promised,” says the CEO of a Lagos-based totally sports media and marketing company who chose no longer to be named to keep away from jeopardizing his pending visa application. “I went through an accepted agent, put in my passport and required documentation 5 days before the match started and paid the desired fees but the passport continues to be now not out.”
Some of the postpone are attributed to the Egyptian consulate running short hours with out changing its techniques to deal with for extended applications. As an end result, some sports reporters and fanatics hoping to use have said dealing with long queues on the Egyptian consulate in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. These difficulties enhance the perception that it’s regularly a good deal less difficult for North Americans to tour within Africa than it’s far for Africans,
There’s a sturdy possibility these visa problems are also being experienced by way of fans in other international locations as properly specifically as Egypt has no longer adopted any special visa techniques for lovers throughout the AFCON. Some proof of that is seen with fit attendance numbers: at the same time as the primary game proposing hosts, Egypt turned into a play in the front of a nearly sold-out crowd, video games which have accompanied were marked by using huge swathes of empty seats in stadiums.
In equity, governments across Africa are attempting to ease travel restrictions throughout the continent, agreeing to both a Continental Free Trade Agreement and a Single Air Transport Market over the last 18 months. Countries like Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia, and Namibia have also at ease their visa regulations for Africans however, regardless, attaining complete Africa-extensive integration stays a work in progress as a majority of Africans still require visas to tour across most of the continent.
As a temporary workaround in light of the African Cup of Nations and heightened interest from African candidates, Egypt ought to have learned from Russia while it hosted the 2018 World Cup, the Lagos-primarily based executive says.
During the FIFA World Cup final yr, Russia allowed visa-free entry for enthusiasts and supporters in the event that they obtained fan identification documents and confirmed evidence of buying a healthy price tag. “Tournaments typically usually come with unique dispensation due to the fact obviously, there may be an inflow in particular from citizens of nations that certified,” he says. “Hosts need to make unique preparations that communicate to the moment.”