On Monday 15th July 2013 Paul Corkrey and Neil Dymock from FSF Cymru met with Mark Evans from the Football Association of Wales (FAW)...
- Euro 2016 (France)
- World Cup qualifier v FYR Macedonia (September 2013)
- World Cup qualifier v Belgium (October 2013)
Euro 2016 (France)
Mark Evans from the FAW updated us on the format for this tournament. Twenty-four teams will contest the Henri Delaunay Cup for the first time following a decision by the UEFA Executive Committee in September 2008. France was awarded UEFA EURO 2016 by the Executive Committee in a decision announced in Geneva on Friday 28 May 2010.
The EURO finals field has risen as the profile of the championship has grown since the inaugural competition took place from 1958 to 1960. From four to eight, to 16 to 24 next time around, almost half of UEFA's 54 member associations will contest the European crown in 2016.
53 Teams will be put into possibly 10 groups to generate 23 teams to compete with the hosts France in the finals…full details of how the 23 will be decided will be available soon but there is no doubting the top two from each group plus some third placed teams will certainly be in the frame. The draw for the qualifying groups will be made in Nice on February 23rd 2014.
Once the qualifying draw is made UEFA will generate the fixtures for each group, a change from the old format of countries meeting up and arranging dates. Actual venues must then be known to all teams ninety days before the due date of the fixture.
Another change will be match days when games are played and some rounds will take place on Thursday and Saturday where two matches will have to be played, although some rounds will be three day gaps between matches, for instance Tuesday and Friday. There will be no double games away from home in any sequence of two game dates; there will always be one home and one away game.
Kick off times will be advised by UEFA to compliment TV deals and they are 5pm and 7.45 pm British time or 6pm and 8.45 central European times, so it is possible to have a home game at 5 pm on a Thursday evening.
This is out of the hands of the football associations but it is hopeful that common sense prevails and Wales don’t have a 5.pm Thursday afternoon kick off in Kiev followed by a home game on the following Saturday, that would be difficult for both the team and the fans…these anomalies are being looked into before fixtures are released.
World Cup qualifier v FYR Macedonia (September 2013)
FSF preparations are well underway for this game and the information booklet is almost completed. Neil Dymock went on a reconnaissance trip to gather information and everything is in place. Ticket news will be known soon but no problems are expected on this trip and we are still waiting for ticket prices and news on which area of the ground we will be allocated. Some Welsh fans are driving there for charity and hopefully the players will be able to help with some publicity photos in the near future.
World Cup qualifier v Belgium (October 2013)
Again the FSF plans are well advanced for this fixture which will be a sell out for home fans. FSF Cymru is concerned about the police tactics that might be deployed at this game and will seek information from the Scottish fan groups about their recent visit to Brussels. Tickets for this game will be on sale soon at a cost of £30, no concessions.
It is important that Wales fans buy early for this game because after a certain date tickets will be returned to the Belgian FA who are desperate for spare tickets. We have 2,000 available from next week and ticket application forms will be sent out soon to our 5,000 members.
Lucy Mason, FAW ticket officer, added: “As usual, tickets are only on sale to Gold and Junior members of the 1876 Wales Supporters Club.
“The closing date for applications is Friday 23rd August and I will be confirming our final requirements to the Belgian FA the following week. We will be able to keep a small number of extra tickets but if these are all sold in the final weeks leading up to the match then so be it. We will not be able to increase our allocation.”