Madagascar fans during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations match between Madagascar and Nigeria at the Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria on the 30 June 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Wednesday Jul 03, 2019. 15:00
Andry Rajoelina, the President of Madagascar, has chartered a plane to take football fans to Egypt following the national team’s unexpected qualification for the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Barea, on their tournament debut, topped Group B at the finals, opening with a 2-2 draw against Guinea before claiming wins over Burundi (1-0) and Nigeria (2-0).
They will face DR Congo in Alexandria on Sunday in the first knockout round.
"After hearing the demands of supporters, President Andry Rajoelina and the Madagascan state have decided to mobilise an Airbus 380, with 480 seats, to transport supporters," Rinah Rakotomanga, communications chief for the presidency, told AFP.
The flight will leave Antananarivo on Saturday and return immediately after the game. Tickets will cost supporters about US$600.
Rajoelina had announced that he would attend the match, sparking a campaign to enable other fans to travel.
"Do not go alone to Egypt President Andry Rajoelina, there are supporters who are ready to fill a plane and the empty stadium," said former opposition MP Guy Rivo Randrianarisoa on social media.