Kitwe city centre came to a stand- still, when match tickets for the Brazil 2014 world cup Qualifier between Zambia and Sudan went on sale for the first time this morning at Kitwe main post office.
Thousands of Kitwe soccer fans converged at the car parking area around the main post office to queue up for the tickets. As soon as tickets went on sale, fans started pushing and shoving each other out of the way to scramble for the tickets that were allocated to Kitwe fans.
There was commotion and great confusion as police were called in to restore order. Police had to fire tear gas canisters in order to control the impatient crowd.
Shops around the Kitwe main post office area were closed for fear of being looted by frustrated fans.
Some soccer fans spoken to, expressed disappointment with the way FAZ handled the ticket sales. One fan informed this writer, that it would have been better if FAZ had considered placing different selling points within the city centre as it has been the case in the past, in order to avoid overcrowding. He went on to say that businesses around the post office had incurred huge losses as a result of their shops remaining closed at the time of the ticket sales.
Another fan spoken to, intimated that there would be a very big chance that tickets would find their way on the black market. He said that in a situation like this, it is possible for those that are selling tickets to create an artificial shortage so that they could pass some tickets through an organised syndicate that could later re-sale at a higher price.
By the time of writing this article, lowly priced tickets had ran out within one hour of going on sale.
Generally the mood in the City of Kitwe was high after last week’s Zambia’s resounding victory against Lesthoto.
Most fans expect nothing less than another resounding win in order to deplete the four goal advantage that Ghana currently has over the Chipolopolo boys.
The fear of many fans is that in an event that Zambia beats Sudan and Ghana draws against Lesthoto and then Ghana beats Zambia in the last match in Ghana when both teams would be level on points, Ghana could top the group on goal difference.
For many Copperbelt soccer fans, this match provides them with the last opportunity to watch Zambia’s live matches, as it is expected that future matches would be played at the new Stadium in Lusaka when it is commissioned.