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Government intensifies e-ticketing drive

Discussing with banks and mobile network service providers

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Ulemu Msungama

Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama says the ministry is discussing with some seven local firms about their capacity to implement electronic ticketing system ahead of the return of sports in the country.

Gate ticketing fraud is one of the practices that contributes to low revenue collection during football games.

Local pundits have been calling for the introduction of electronic ticketing system to curb fraud.

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Msungama said the ministry was consultating with banks and mobile network service providers in a bid to implement electronic ticketing next season.

He said electronic ticketing would help ensure that collected funds are well managed.

“We are talking to some service providers to see their capacity if they can handle e-ticketing. We do not want to outsource before we check the capacity of the local firms. We are doing this to stop paying on the gates during match days. This will help us avoid misuse of gate collections,” he said.

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Msungama said even though discussions were at advanced stage, it was too early to disclose the companies which government engaged.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Commercial and Marketing Director Limbani Matola said government had done well prioritising implementation of e-ticketing on its sports development agenda.

“E-ticketing remains a key success factor in our football commercialisation drive. And we reckon government is a key player in providing the much needed policy and enabling environment,” he said.

Matola said in the past two seasons their efforts to implement e-ticketing failed to yield the desired returns due to the absence of enabling environment particularly infrastructure in the stadia.

“Government owns and manages over 90 percent of these sporting facilities, we therefore applaud the Minister of Youth and Sports for correctly setting the agenda. May we take this opportunity to request that the government should seriously consider including e-ticketing components at the very onset in all the architectural designs for the new sports facilities.

“And it would ideally look good if these developments are factored in the national budget which is currently on the floor for appropriation in Parliament,” he said.

However, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) General Secretary Williams Banda said there was a need to have a constructive engagement with the relevant stakeholders as they do not own infrastructure.

“We are also mindful of the technical hitches that really come with network providers in terms of beginning issuing the tickets. There is a need to do a dummy so that we see how it works which calls for a meeting jointly between the stakeholders, government and the service providers so that we can address the technical hitches,” he said.

Football alongside other sporting events were suspended on March 20 this year as a preventive measure against the then threat of Covid-19.

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