Accra, March 23, GNA - The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has warned Ghanaian football fans against dealing with agents to secure them tickets for the 2006 World Cup. Addressing a press conference in Accra on Thursday, Mr Fred Pappoe, Vice-Chairman of GFA said issues concerning the distribution of 9,087 tickets allotted to Ghana by FIFA was being handled exclusively by the association and not agents.
He said the association, had received requests from about 9,000 football fans each demanding three tickets to watch the first round matches of the National team, the Black Stars. "This means that if we give three tickets to each of them, only 3,000 out of the 9,000 applicants can be satisfied. This is not the policy of GFA that would like as many Ghanaians as possible to watch the tournament." "Faced with this problem, we have to devise a formula to ensure that most of the applicants get at least a ticket or two to watch the tournament," He added.
Mr Pappoe said some of the strategies to be adopted would include age of the applicant, time of application, and special dispensation for recognized supporters' unions to ensure many fans travel to Germany to cheer the team. He expressed surprise about fans who had applied through agents for tickets while those who applied through the association are having problems securing tickets. Mr Pappoe appealed to the fans to exercise patience because GFA would forward names, particulars and ticket numbers of successful applicants to FIFA and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) in Germany to ensure easy access to the stadium.
The Vice Chairman of GFA said, these measures would provide background information on fans for the organizers against terrorism. "We will not jeopardize Ghana's image in Germany by giving tickets to applicants with questionable character," He added. He cited the case of Mr Jack Warner, Head of CACACAF, the head of the North American Football Association who had a serious problem with FIFA and was nearly imprisoned for allocating World Cup tickets to an agent.
Mr Pappoe said the Association had completed compilation of the list of successful applicants and would soon communicate to them to pay into a special account at the Ghana Commercial Bank within a specified time. He said receipt of payment would be attached to the visa application of fans, adding "this is no guarantee that the fan would secure the visa because the German Embassy has its own criteria to grant visa."
Mr Pappoe said the provision of tickets for the fans would be undertaken in batches in case some fans with tickets were denied visas. He said this was a special dispensation given to the association by FIFA in view of Ghana's peculiar situation and the name of the applicant could only be changed in consultation with FIFA and GFA. Mr Pappoe asked fans who had applied for the tickets to check for their names in the newspapers and the association's Website. He urged Ghanaian fans not to panic when the tickets allocated to La Cote D'Ivoire was more than the number for Ghana because the criteria for the allocation included the size of the stadiums the teams would use.