Concerns have been raised over the Brazilian Embassy’s staunch match ticket requirements for issuing visas to Ghanaians interested in going to witness the 2014 World Cup.
The Brazilian Consulate in Ghana insist they will be rejecting visa applicants who are without match tickets for June’s tournament.
This means Ghanaian soccer fans who were unable to purchase the online tickets through the Ghana FA on time will not be travelling to Brazil for the world showpiece as it stands despite the possibility of securing match tickets through other legal sources.
All agencies offering travel packages to Ghanaians for the tournament have secured match tickets in bulk in anticipation of the usual late demand for their services.
These agencies are however running against time to secure visas for their prospective clients who will only turn up in bulk towards the commencement of the tournament.
Chief Executive officer of African Origin – Ghana’s leading travel agency – Samson Deen is calling for a review of the directive of the Brazilian Embassy to serve prudency.
“I understand the stance of the Brazilian embassy but in practical terms especially in Ghana, things will be made a bit difficult,” he said.
“The travel agencies have the tickets in bulk but some in fact most Ghanaians interested in making the trip do not have the match tickets.
“In that case they will not be able to apply for the visas per the embassy’s directive even though they can acquire them from us.
“But then there is a closing window with regards to timing. Some of the fans will be certain of their funds and other logistics a bit later than the embassy anticipates but then if they don’t secure the visas on time it will be too late.
“I therefore suggest that the embassy liaise with travel agencies on the tickets they have, codify them and use them as surety for the prospective fans who don’t already have the tickets.
“Another way is for the embassy to use their normal visa requirements without the tickets for the fans to secure the visas and then come for the match tickets so a lot of time is saved.
“I am even anticipating a further surge in demand when the Black Stars begin their friendly matches but then it will be too late for these set of fans to now begin processing for visas.
“We want as many capable Ghanaians as possible to be able to make the trip to Brazil to cheer on the Black Stars and therefore I believe this directive should be reconsidered.”