FSF Cymru representatives Vince Alm, Paul Corkrey and Neil Dymock met with representatives of the Welsh FA (Mark Evans, Lucy Mason and Wayne Nash), South Wales Police (Wayne Palmer), and Alison Rees and Colin Lewis on 20th August at Cardiff City Stadium. This is part of a regular series of meetings that allows fans to raise any concerns with the authorities. Details of the discussion are below:
Stewards at Wales’ games
Following on from the previous meeting the stewarding of Welsh fans by the Welsh stewards at games was discussed. WN emphasised the point that the stewards were there to facilitate the fans and to assist and he confirmed that the stewards were selected from all over Wales. The stewards chosen are amongst the most experienced and it is hoped that a good relationship will be formed between the fans and stewards.
The stewards are there due to a directive from UEFA but they have to work under the direction of the host country and follow rules or orders requested by the host country, which will vary from match to match in most cases.
ME had just returned from a site visit to the new stadium in Andorra la villa, he confirmed it will be ready for our fixture and also that the Andorrans expect to have a sell-out crowd, due to it being the opening match.
Over 600 fans are staying in Barcelona and we have arranged transport for 440 of these fans. We requested that the Spanish police arrange for coach parking at the pick-up point outside the Hard Rock café on the Plaça de Catalunya (Catalonia Square).
The FAW produced 440 bus tickets for us to distribute to the fans booked on these coaches. There is absolutely no more room on any of the coaches and only fans with the tickets will be allowed to travel. The tickets will be distributed on the morning of the trip from 9 am at the Hard Rock café.
It is very important that fans are aware of the following
• Passports will be required to enter Andorra.
• Drinking is not allowed on the streets in Spain or Andorra
• Respect for the authorities is very important. Fans should be aware that any disrespect towards the police could lead to arrest
We have sold over 1200 tickets to date for this fixture
We are entitled to 3,500 tickets for this fixture and it will obviously depend on demand as to how many we obtain. There were quite a few problems highlighted during our last visit to the Heysel stadium in Brussels and WN and ME will address this during their pre match meeting in Belgium. Stewarding, toilet and refreshment areas and general safety issues are amongst the points that will be raised. WP will also meet with the Belgian police prior to this fixture.
A full update will be available at our next meeting.
Match tickets and tournament tickets
The match day price for tickets will be £20 adult and £5 concessions for all five games.
Tournament tickets are great value and will cost £75 adult and £18.75 for concessions. They will be on sale from the last week in August 2014.
Fans will be able to pick which seat they want from the middle sections of the four stands (Singing section, Canton, Family stand, Grange, Grandstand and the Ninian stand.
The lead applicant must be a member but they should include all other members fan numbers on the application so that each fan can be credited with points.
There currently just over 5,800 members and the cost is just £10 adults and £5 concessions to cover the whole campaign. We encourage fans to join the membership scheme.
We have completed a 16 page information booklet to cover Andorra and Barcelona. This will be sent out with tickets and put on line at the FSF website.
The “Wear red for Wales” badges are not ready yet and ND said he would chase it up. We hope to meet some more of the players to promote the campaign with more photographs with the banner.
Any other business
ME was asked about the Welsh shirts availability only in JD sports. He explained that it was a marketing ad commercial decision but stressed that the shirts are available throughout the UK and online.
AR was disappointed that the Andorra tickets were sold on a first come first served basis leaving late comers with only the expensive tickets, she said that applications should have been kept until a certain date and then the points system used to offer the best value tickets.
LM explained that the sales were a surprise to everyone, a good surprise though and very encouraging and only sold to members but she took the point on board. In future there will be a process in place to prevent this happening.
The Bosnia match will be played in Zeneca, a one hour drive from Sarajevo and we will not have a big allocation so the point system may have to be used.
ME said that the Israel FA are determined that our match will go ahead in Israel. The venue will be in Haifa and fans are encouraged to stay in Tel Aviv. The advice is to be aware that things change daily over in that area and the game could be moved late on. Please take out the correct insurance on flights and make your own risk assessment about travelling. The home office website (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/israel) will keep everyone updated with their advice.
The current advice states the following: The FCO advise against all travel to areas of Israel within 40km of the border with Gaza (including Sderot, Netivot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Be’er Sheva, and Kiryat HaMalachi) due to the escalation and risk of conflict in the area.