Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has shunned its Russia Fifa World Cup tickets following a low demand for the world’s biggest football event in the country.
Fifa member associations are allocated the tickets by the world governing body to sell at a reasonable profit.
Malawi’s quota is 250 tickets for various matches.
There are four categories of the tickets—category three tickets prices range from $105 to $285, category two cost from $165 to $480, while category one ticket prices range from $210 to $750.
FAM would have spent about $85 000 (about K62 million) to procure the tickets from Fifa and general secretary Alfred Gunda said they could not take chances.
Unlike in 2014 when FAM was overwhelmed by a demand for the Brazil World Cup tickets, this time only few individuals have shown interest, according to Gunda.
“It’s not a viable business venture. Of course we get the tickets from Fifa at a discount. But the tricky part of it is that we pay in advance for all the tickets. Now, with the poor demand for the tickets, we are not even sure if we can sell all of them,” he said.
The GS said he suspected the lukewarm response was due to the venue of the world football gala.
“With Brazil, the response was overwhelming. People wanted to go and watch the World Cup. But this time, I suspect people are considering the long trip to Russia,” he said.
However, Gunda said they are offering advice to few interested individuals on how they can buy the tickets directly and how they can go about to get the visa to Russia through their embassy in Zimbabwe or South Africa.
The poor hype of the World Cup has also filtered to the corporate world and other media organisations.
Unlike in 2010 in South Africa and 2014 when there were several promotions, this edition has seen only mobile phone network providers TNM Plc running a Zampira promotion in which the winner will watch the World Cup.
TNM chief marketing and sales officer Daniel Makata said they included a ticket to the World Cup to give customers and soccer fans the best of both worlds.
“TNM is a soccer-loving brand and we realise that, ultimately, our role in developing football standards through our sponsorship of the TNM Super League aims to help Malawi qualify for the World Cup in the near future. So we’re saying, watch and predict the TNM Super League through SMS, and also stand a chance to go to Russia with a friend of your choice, to watch the World Cup live” he said.
Multichoice Malawi, who will beam the World Cup through their Dstv SuperSport channels, have said they also have plans to run promotions.
Marketing manager Chimwemwe Nyirenda said they will launch the promotions before June 14 when the World Cup kicks off.
“We will launch the promotions soon. For example, if someone buys a decoder we will offer them one month Compact subscription for free. There will also be daily promotions such as a quiz in which people will win assorted prizes,” he said. n