With less than a week to the Africa Cup of Nations kicking off on Saturday January 17, supporters of Ivory Coast are still unsure whether they would obtain visas to the host country Equatorial Guinea.
The central African country has no embassy in Ivory Coast, meaning prospective applicants must travel to either Ghana or Benin Republic to submit their forms.
However, supersport.com gathered on Tuesday that many supporters who had made the trip in the hope of picking their visas were frustrated by the lengthy bureaucracy involved in the process.
Parfait Kouassi, chairman of the National Committee of the Elephants Supporters (CNSE), which was founded in 1985, told supersport.com that Equatorial Guinea embassy officials are requesting from each applicant a criminal or police record, a letter of introduction from Ivory Coast foreign ministry and an invitation letter from Equatorial Guinea foreign ministry.
“It is totally absurd. You ask all those documents from an ordinary supporter going to attend the competition? Do they know how long it takes to get a criminal record?” Kouassi said.
“We have never had such problems even when travelling to support our team outside Africa. We remain hopeful that our members would be granted visas because we can’t imagine an Afcon with the Elephants and without their supporters.”
Ivory Coast will be based in Malabo in Group D alongside Cameroon, Mali and Guinea.