Equatorial Guinea president pays for 40,000 tickets; Gabon buses fans for free to watch AFCON

2015 Africa Cup of Nations hosts, Equatorial Guinea president Obiang Nguema has vowed to pay for 40000 tickets so that the poor can attend matches, and called on those who can to do the same.

During a meeting with village leaders and military and civilian authorities on Monday, President Nguema said: “Let those who have the means help the poor. Myself, I bought 40000 tickets at a rate of 10000 per region [four sites are hosting the event]. These tickets cost 500 FCFA (75c) which amounts to 20 million CFA francs.”

President Nguema, 72, had ruled oil-rich Equatorial Guinea since he seized power by a coup d’état in 1979 and the showpiece will be yet another he is witnessing as his nation co-hosted an edition with Gabon in 2012.

The head of state added that stadiums needed to be full to bring money into state coffers after Equatorial Guinea stepped in to host the event in place of Morocco according to AFP.

Meanwhile, neighboring Gabon offered 20 buses that will be used by the teams during the tournament which starts on Saturday.

Gabonese sports minister Blaise Louembe told AFP that the free loan buses were a contribution to the event.

“This is our contribution to support Equatorial Guinea. We have a saying that when your neighbors are having a party the entire village is celebrating.”