Visa has been unveiled as the exclusive payment services provider at all venues during the next two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) national team football tournament.

Visa has signed an official partnership with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) ahead of the 2019 AFCON, which will take place next summer in Cameroon. The deal also covers the 2021 tournament in Ivory Coast.

Visa will serve as the preferred payment option for tickets bought in-person and online for the tournaments. The company has also been named as the official partner of the player escort program, which gives over 1,100 children the chance to lead out the teams at AFCON matches.

CAF president Ahmad Ahmad said: “Through this partnership with CAF, Visa will be able to connect further with its customers and leverage CAF as an innovative marketing platform. Africa is now more connected than ever before, and Visa’s payment network will play a vital role in reaching and rewarding fans across the region. I’m certain that together we will take African football to the next level.”

The partnership strengthens Visa’s presence within football, with the company having sponsored the FIFA World Cup since 2007. As well as supporting the AFCON next summer, Visa will partner the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

Andrew Torre, regional president, Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) at Visa, said: “Being the exclusive payment services partner at some of the biggest global sporting properties in the world has enabled us to showcase the latest in payment innovation on a global stage and has had a demonstrable impact on the fan experience and local merchant environment.

“We are looking forward to a very big summer in 2019 where through our sponsorship of two of the largest football tournaments in the world, we can connect football’s most passionate and engaged audiences through our powerful, reliable and secure payment network and create unique and unforgettable experiences for global football fans, cardholders and clients alike.”

During this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, Visa rolled out contactless payment technology at all of the tournament’s 12 venues. Visa’s partnership with CAF was brokered by the Lagardère Sports agency.

Yaoundé’s Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo (pictured) is one of the scheduled venues for next year’s tournament in Cameroon.

Image: Nguyano