Qatar World Cup: Wales’ fan zones really needed

The petition organiser Mark Jones think Cardiff still have time to set up a fan area to let the fans watch the World Cup together.

Fans in Cardiff won’t have a place to watch the football together for the 2022 Qatar World Cup

There is still time for Cardiff to build a fans zone to celebrate the World Cup, according to the organiser of a petition to set up fans zones around Wales.

The fan zone was a major feature of Euro 2016, and this year marks Wales’ first World Cup participation in 64 years. And with the first fixture against USA set for next Monday the petition organiser Mark Jones says it is more important than ever.

“Not having a fan zone in Cardiff is a disgrace as our capital, but luckily Wrexham, Swansea, Merthyr, Newport amongst others have stepped up,” says Jones, 30. “I still think Cardiff can organise one, but the Football Association of Wales and council have both stated they are not interested sadly.”

Due to the World Cup’s human rights issue, discrimination against women and LGBT and the exploitation of foreign workers, this provoked a boycott from many fans and made it difficult for them to go to a live football match.

 “I think it’s important as an access point for fans to enjoy the games together, particularly give issues with Qatar preventing most from traveling abroad,” said Mark.

Wales qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1958

Thousands of people attended Cardiff’s open-air fan zone ahead of the big Euro 2016 match, and it was a huge success for the fan zone setup.  This petition in fan area was also organised by Mark, who was a student at the time.  He said, “Hopes were to repeat the success of 2016, sold out every game, great media coverage, bringing people together, unflying force.”

Mark said, “Feedback has been great from fans and media, only people who seem opposed despite all our previous success is the FAW and Cardiff council… baffling really…fans miss out on that communal atmosphere and special event feeling you get from crowd events.”

Fan zones like this one in Warsaw give people the chance to celebrate together

Wales’ first game is next Monday at 7 pm, a young football fan Colin Edwards is looking forward to the game and he was disappointed that there was no fan zone this year. Colin said, “ That’s a bit disappointing, I think there should be a fan zone, fans can be together.”