FAM says it will roll out e-ticketing in the forthcoming season in a bid to curb gate revenue fraud at football matches.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said in an interview yesterday that they intend to seriously embark on the venture to improve gate collections after a successful pilot phase last year.
“We will engage all stadia owners to embrace e-ticketing and see how best we can integrate their facilities, systems and processes,” he said.
Nyamilandu said the first phase will entail rolling out the system at Mpira and Chilomoni stadia in Blantyre, which are owned by the association.
“We will roll out at these stadia as a model. We will also prioritise Bingu National Stadium [in Lilongwe] and Kamuzu Stadium [in Blantyre] which are government-owned to ensure buy-in and their full cooperation.
“In this regard, a task force will be set up to ensure successful implementation of the system,” he said.
Nyamilandu further said several options are being considered which include electronic turnstiles, web tickets through online payments and mobile money and hand-held ticketing machines.
“We will focus on low-cost solutions and apply a hybrid of these solutions to ensure that our offering is sustainable and that the service , to the fans, is efficient and effective.
“It is time to move on and leave the bad practices behind. It is time that we put an end to fraud.
“It is time that the clubs made more money from gate revenue to become self sufficient,” he said.
Nyamilandu said other countries such as Tanzania have made tremendous strides in management of gate ticketing “to the extent that the [Dar es-Salaam] derby between Simba Sports Club and Young Africans made $245 000
[about K182.3 million]
with full capacity of 60 000 spectators”.
Reacting to the development, Sulom president Tiya Somba Banda said: “We are on track and on the same page.”
Football analyst George Kaudza Masina said the move has been long overdue.
“That is what different stakeholders have been fighting for if our football is to be run as a business. As such, though late, FAM leadership has to be commended. It has seen some sense to roll out e-ticketing after a successful pilot phase.
“With e-ticketing, clubs are likely to benefit as there will be minimal fraud. However, an intention is one thing and implementation is another thing,” he said.
However, Nyasa Big Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said the issue of e-ticketing is long overdue.
“We need to depart from an era of rhetoric. This song has been sang for some time and if they [FAM] are really serious about it, then they should walk the talk. “What infrastructure is there to convince us that they will migrate to e-ticketing come next season? If they are serious, then they should come up with clear timelines,” he said.