Argentina football fans cry foul over cost of new subscription model

Fans say prices of up to 40 times monthly minimum wage ‘push them away’

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) launched “AFA ID” on Wednesday, a new platform to buy tickets to see Argentina’s national team. However, fans were quick to criticize the measure as pricey and exclusive.

AFA ID is a system that allows fans to “subscribe” to the Argentina national football team. It offers three tiers with different benefits and priority levels, and prices range from AR$24,000 to AR$4.9 million (US$69-14,000 at the official exchange rate, US$35-7,250 at the MEP dollar exchange rate). 

The top tier is equivalent to over 40 times Argentina’s monthly minimum wage.

Fans can register for free via the site, but most benefits are behind a paywall. The three levels are Bronze, Silver and Gold.

The Bronze level costs AR$24,000 for an annual subscription. It grants priority ticket purchase for friendly matches and the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers. It also provides subscribers with a digital membership card, priority to purchase national team jerseys, and other benefits.

The Silver level is valid until July 2026, and costs AR$1.9 million, to be paid upfront. It grants members a preferential ticket to all Argentina’s home games in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers, as well as priority booking for 2024 Copa América and 2026 World Cup tickets. It also gives fans preferential entrance to stadiums in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers with their ID.

The top “Gold” option, costing AR$4.9 million and also valid until July 2026, offers much the same benefits as Silver and Bronze level members but with 2024 Copa América and 2026 World Cup tickets guaranteed for purchase for a limited time.

The system is set to make its debut ahead of Argentina’s first game, against Ecuador on September 7, at River Plate’s Monumental Stadium

Fans outcry

Many fans reacted on social media with anger and frustration. 

The focus of the criticism was the cost, which critics claimed prices most fans out of watching the Argentine national team live. “[AFA ID] is a restrictive and sectarian measure. A way to push the average football fans away from the national team”, wrote a fan on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.

Others pointed out that the top “Gold Member” level costs twice as much as season tickets for some of the best clubs in Europe, like Real Madrid or Manchester City. 

Preferential season tickets for teams in the Argentine First Division range from AR$22,000 to AR$515,000 for the most exclusive, and there are far more games to watch.

The fact that each account is individual and linked to a person’s ID means a family of four would have to pay AR$96,000 a year for the lowest membership level.

AFA has insisted that fans are not required to subscribe to get tickets, and that the remaining tickets will be available to the general public once those in the membership program have been accounted for.

However, tickets for the Albiceleste’s friendly against Panamá, where fans celebrated the World Cup victory, sold out in just 50 minutes.

Many now fear that with the current rise in popularity of the Argentina men’s national team there won’t be many or any tickets available at all, making an AFA ID subscription all but essential.


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