Real blames United for failed De Gea transfer

Updated 01 September 2015
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Real blames United for failed De Gea transfer

MADRID: Real Madrid have blamed Manchester United for their failure to sign Spain goalkeeper David De Gea before Monday’s midnight transfer deadline and said they did everything needed to complete the transaction.
De Gea faces an uncertain future after the deal to join Real, which included Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas moving to the English club, was scuppered when the paperwork did not arrive at the Spanish league in time and the data was not entered into FIFA’s Transfer Matching System (TMS) as required.
Real said in a statement on their website (www.realmadrid.com) on Tuesday the bureaucratic snafu, which prompted widespread ridicule on social media, was not their fault and detailed exhaustively how and why the necessary documents were not ready until it was too late.
United had not initiated talks on a possible De Gea transfer until Monday morning, the statement said.
After initial agreement was reached, Real said they sent the contracts to United at 1:39 p.m. Spanish time (1139 GMT).
Eight hours later they were sent back with “small modifications,” which Real said they immediately accepted.
Real then sent the contracts signed by De Gea and Navas back to United for their signature at 2132 GMT, 28 minutes before the deadline.
United entered the details of De Gea’s transfer into TMS at exactly midnight Spanish time but did not register the Navas deal and by then it was too late for Real to access the system.
TMS gave them a last chance to register the deal around half an hour later and Real also sent the documents to the Spanish league even though they knew the deadline had passed.
“Real Madrid did everything necessary, and at all times, to complete these two transfers,” Real’s statement concluded.
The Spanish league did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for United said they had no immediate response to Real’s statement.
FIFA rules state that players can be registered only during one of two annual transfer periods — the other is in January — with the exception being if their contract has expired before the end of a registration period.
For a player to transfer to another country, their new club and his previous club have to submit certain information and documentation to the TMS.
The system then generates an International Transfer Certificate (ITC), which allows the player’s registration to be switched from one country to another.
Asked on Tuesday about the failed transfer, a FIFA spokesperson said: “Up until now, we do not appear to have been contacted by either of the parties in this matter.
“Please understand that as a result we cannot comment on a hypothetical scenario.”
As things stand, De Gea, whose deal with United expires at the end of the season when he can leave for free, could find himself out in the cold, at least until the end of the year when the market opens again.
As the transfer saga rumbled on, United coach Louis van Gaal left the 24-year-old former Atletico Madrid keeper out of the squad for the Premier League club’s opening games of the season, with Argentina international Sergio Romero playing instead.
Real want De Gea as a long-term replacement for his Spain teammate Iker Casillas, the former club captain who joined Porto in July.
De Gea was selected last week for Spain’s forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Slovakia and Macedonia although coach Vicente del Bosque hinted that he could lose his place in the squad if his club situation remained unresolved.


Tazkarti ticketing platform draws criticism in Egypt ahead of Africa Cup of Nations

Updated 18 June 2019
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Tazkarti ticketing platform draws criticism in Egypt ahead of Africa Cup of Nations

  • Tazkarti will be the sole source of tickets for the tournament

CAIRO: Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) host country Egypt has launched an online ticketing platform called Tazkarti, which will be the sole source of tickets for the tournament, which begins June 22.

Its aim is to combat ticket touts and black market sales for the continent’s biggest football tournament, and to ensure that ticket prices remain fixed at the price decided by the AFCON organizing committee. It is also a measure of the steps Egypt is taking to ensure that the tournament passes peacefully. 

Football stadiums have been almost entirely empty since 2011 because of security issues after long-time President Hosni Mubarak stepped down following national protests in which football fans played a major role, resulting in violent, often lethal, clashes with police and between rival fans.

In 2012, Port Said stadium witnessed a riot that left 72 Al-Ahly supporters dead after a pitch invasion by Masri supporters at the end of a Premier League game. In 2015, 19 Zamalek fans were killed and 20 injured when police attempted to disperse large crowds making their way into a Cairo stadium to attend a Premier League game. 

Those were just two of several incidents that meant authorities imposed a ban on people attending football matches or severely restricted the number of people that could do so.

Every AFCON ticket purchased via Tazkarti will be scanned at the stadium to ensure it matches the holder’s “Fan ID.” If it does not, the holder will not be allowed into the ground.

Tickets for matches featuring the Egyptian national team range from 200 to 2,500 Egyptian pounds ($12-$150), while other matches range from 100 to 500 Egyptian pounds ($6 to $30).

While those prices might sound affordable to outsiders, in a country where a doctor earns around $90 to $179 per month, many have found themselves priced out of the tournament already.

“I am a married dentist with three kids. If I want to attend a match with my family, I would have to pay 1,000 pounds ($60), (not including) transportation and snacks,” Dr. M. Sheta, who lives in Damietta, told Arab News.

“To book a cinema ticket nowadays ranges between 70 and 100 pounds and a good meal costs 100 pounds minimum. If I can afford that, then I can afford AFCON tickets,” said a housewife in Mansoura, who asked to remain anonymous.

Plenty of young Egyptians took to social media to express their displeasure with the ticket prices.

“This is a clear message that middle-class Egyptians are not welcome,” said Ahmed Zahran.

“I would rather pay a total of 10 pounds at any coffee shop and watch the matches there,” said Ahmed El-Tlabanty.

Some fans believe that the prices have been set high to discourage Ultras (the most passionate football fans) from attending.

An administrator of the “Ultras Ahlawy” Facebook group, while stressing that he hoped supporters “have fun watching AFCON,” asked Arab News: “Why would I pay 200 pounds to watch a match? I do not (make hundreds of pounds).”

Aside from issues with the high prices, people have also been widely critical of the technical performance of the new ticketing platform, which has been under pressure from high demand for Fan IDs.

“You guys are so disrespectful and unprofessional. I’ve been trying to reach out for more than two weeks and no one is answering — not on messenger nor the hotline. You made the whole championship experience the worst,” wrote Fatma El-Dardiry. “I called your customer service at least five times, placed three complaints and texted you on Facebook more than once. Now, the tickets of cat 1 and 2 for the opening match have already sold out.”