Data-Driven, Secure Ticketing System Enables Football Fans to Attend Game in Egypt for the First Time in Years
By Hagen Walther in Allgemein
G2K Data Specialists from Munich Software Company Enable Registration and Secure Admission Management for Egyptian Football Fans
Munich/Cairo, June 8th, 2017 – On June 4th, 2017, the public was finally permitted to view a live Egyptian football match for the first time in 60 months. With their secure ticketing system, the G2K Group has enabled 10,000 Egyptian fans to attend and safely enjoy a live match at the Borg El Arab stadium.
G2K is a leading provider of comprehensive situational awareness systems. For the CAF-Champions League game of Al Ahly (Egypt) vs. Wydad AC (Morocco), G2K experts developed a secure ticketing and registration system, and were provided technical support of the access control system on match day. For the stadium project, G2K collaborated on security systems and software with its partners Falcon Group and Microsoft.
This has been the first match open to the public since 2012, when 74 people died during fights between rivalling fan groups after a football match at Port Said stadium. After the tragedy, tickets sales to were discontinued, leaving stadiums empty. Fans were admitted once again at the beginning of 2015, however, this match too resulted in riots with fatalities.
In accordance with the specific security requirements, G2K developed a secure ticketing system, which enabled fans to sign up for tickets online. Spectator information was collected during registration and included demographic data, ID number, ID photo, and a digital copy of their identity card. Secure payment of the e-tickets was facilitated through payment partner Fawry. Fans simply printed their ticket at home and brought it to the game.
At the entrance to the stadium, Falcon Group’s security team checked the authenticity of the e-tickets and the identity of the visitors using barcode scanners. To ensure that only registered spectators were admitted, the data on the tickets was compared to database files created during the registration process in real time. Utilizing the G2K solution on match day, security personnel identified all fake tickets at the gates and denied access. Through successful pre-screening access was also denied to potential hooligans.
The solution was developed and ready to use (operational) in less than 3 weeks. In order to deliver the product in the fastest and most cost-effective way possible, the system was hosted in the Microsoft Azure Cloud.
Result in Numbers
Within 48 hours, thousands of fans registered and purchased the available 10,000 tickets, selling out the match immediately. The average time between registration and ticket issuance was 48 hours. As planned, the spectators entered the stadium in a controlled manner through only five of the 17 entrances. First football fans arrived at the stadium four hours prior to the start of the game. Access control lasted an average of only ten seconds per person. In the end the match resulted in 2:0 for Al Ahly, however and more importantly, the game finished safely and without any incidents.
Quote G2K: Looking optimistically into the future of Egyptian spectator football, G2K Group CTO Omar El Gohary announced, “The intensive preparation has payed off: The entrance control at Borg El Arab Stadium has been a huge success and will be served as a best practice for future matches, where we hope to facilitate access to even more fans. We are very happy about enabling this live experience in a safe environment to the Egyptian football fans again. With this game, Al Ahly has opened the stadium doors to its fans once again.”
Quote Al Ahly: Al Ahly Cairo Predident Mahmoud Taher is also confident, stating “The Security Concept of Falcon Group and the cooperation with G2K has been excellent. We were able to send a great message to all peaceful people in this country and beyond country borders by opening the stadium for the public again.”