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FSF Cymru meet Football Association of Wales (18th July)

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

FSF CYMRU2

FSF Cymru representatives Paul Corkrey, Neil Dymock and Vince Alm met with Ian Gwyn Hughes (Head of Public Affairs) and Lucy Jones (ticketing) from the Football Association of Wales on Friday 18th July at Cardiff City Stadium. These regular meetings give fans of Wales and Welsh club sides the chance to raise supporter issues with the FAW.

  • If you have any more ideas or questions, email paul.corkrey@fsf.org.uk.
  • More FSF Cymru news including previous minutes of meetings here.

Netherlands

FSF Cymru received numerous complaints and questions relating to the stewarding of Welsh fans at the Amsterdam Arena in June.

These were passed on to Wayne Nash, FAW National Security Officer, who was happy to discuss the issues and explain the reasoning used by the Welsh stewards when dealing with our supporters. He was unavailable for this meeting but explained by email some of the issues highlighted by the fans.

If more than 500 supporters are expected to travel to an away match, the visiting association or club concerned is required to appoint an adequate number of stewards to accompany and assist supporters during their journeys to and from the venue.

Some fans complained that the stewards were not keen on taking them around to the lifts but Wayne said many had been escorted around and nobody was refused entry, just asked to wait until the area cleared, as it was very busy at the lifts.

A fan who had been ejected at half-time complained he was treated unfairly. The steward reported that this fan was very drunk and abusive at the turnstiles but was allowed in. At half time he was asked to leave the stadium, this will be looked into further.

Wayne also said that if any fan had an issue with the way they were treated then he would welcome correspondence with them to try and resolve the issue. The main reason the stewards are present is to provide a customer service and assist the fans.

Finally Wayne explained he understood that fans need to understand the role of the stewards, the fact that he needed to widen the base of stewards and has recruited stewards from Swansea and North Wales this past few weeks. They will work FAW games at the stadium from the Super Cup so fans can get used to seeing them.

To be fair, the stewards did assist many fans and on the instructions of the Dutch officials asked some Welsh fans to leave the area due to the drunken state they were in as the police didn’t want to arrest anyone because it was a very friendly atmosphere.

  • Action – Requested that Wayne Nash asks the stewards to meet FSF Cymru to discuss the best way forward, and try to come to a way of working that will benefit everyone. International fans are not the same as club fans and are not used to stewards. The stewards are now going to be at all games and fans need to get used to them but equally the stewards need to understand the fans.

Andorra

Reports are that the Andorra FA are confident the new venue (4,000 capacity) will be ready and we will initially get an allocation of 1,000 tickets, costing 25 Euros each. Ticket application forms have been sent out to members. Lucy believes we will need around 800 tickets for this game but if demand is higher another 500 tickets will become available at a cost of 40 euros in the main stand.

In the unlikely event of the new venue being unready then we will play at the old venue and should still receive 1,000 tickets, if the ticket prices are reduced rebates will be made to the fans.

We have now arranged transport from Barcelona for almost 400 supporters and are full to capacity. Other fans still needing transport will be advised to try to use public transport but arrange for a one night stay in Andorra due to the lateness of the match finish. The first transport out of Andorra leaves at 5am.

Please note that the day before the match is a Bank Holiday and a lot of bars may close as well as the majority of shops.

Belgium

We will have access to 3,000 tickets if demand is there and expect an initial allocation of around 1,400, the same as last year. There is a lot of interest in this game and that may cause some security issues. Many fans are travelling by coaches and trains but all will be members.
There some security and safety issues highlighted after the game at the Heysel stadium last year, including the poor lighting at the exits, these will be passed on to the Belgium FA. The Welsh players will be travelling to Ypres the day after the match to visit the Welsh war graves there.

  • Action – To go over the incident report from the previous Belgium match and contact the Belgium FA about these concerns.

Home match environment

There is a bespoke ticketing system now in use and fans can pick specific seats in the stadium. This will allow likeminded supporters to congregate together. The Canton Stand is highlighted as the area where our most vociferous supporters will be housed and stewards will be encouraged to be more relaxed in this area whilst maintaining safety.

The Family Stand is obviously the best place for families. Central blocks in the Grandstand, Ninian Stand, Canton Stand and Family Stand will be available for Gold and Junior members of the 1876 Wales Supporters Club to purchase Tournament Tickets. Once the priority period has ended these blocks will then be opened up for members and general public to purchase on a match-by-match basis.

There will be a pool of stewards chosen from throughout Wales who will work at both home and away matches, hopefully the fans and the stewards familiarise themselves with each other.

Match tickets updates

Tournament Tickets will go on sale in a few weeks’ time; these will be promoted by various advertising campaigns. There are five home matches, all to be played at the Cardiff City Stadium. Match-day prices are £20 adult and £5 child (age 16 and under)/over 65, plus booking fees.

Tournament Ticket prices are fantastic value at just £75 adult and £18.75 child (age 16 and under)/over 65, a price freeze from the last campaign. Further details will be sent to all members in due course. Tournament Tickets will be available to purchase online through the FAW website or on the FAW’s dedicated booking line 0844 248 1876.

The FAW will also send application forms out to those members who do not have an email address registered on their account. The lead applicant for season tickets must be a Gold or Junior member but they can purchase tickets for non-members, the same policy as the last qualifying campaign.

No tickets will be sold in the new stand unless there is a demand.

Membership

Gold (adult) and junior membership cost just £10 and £5 respectively and all who sign up will be eligible for priority booking for all home matches, access to away match tickets and will also benefit from discounts with some of our commercial partners as well as receiving a membership pack.

Club and School Membership are also available to purchase direct from the FAW, priced at £20. This level of membership enables football clubs and schools in Wales to apply for home match tickets under the Kickback Scheme, thereby earning 25% cashback from the total cost of tickets purchased. Application forms are available on request, please telephone 02920 435830 or email membership@faw.co.uk.

FSF Cymru

Fan Embassies will be organised throughout the campaign and information booklets produced to be sent out with all away match tickets. We will continue regular meetings with the FAW and stadium security officers. We welcome any Welsh fan along to any of these meetings if they want to discuss any issues. FSF Cymru representatives will be at the FSF AGM (25th July) and Supporters Summit (26th July) at Wembley Stadium.

Wear Red for Wales Campaign

New pin badges are being produced to be issued free to Wales’s fans and the new “Wear Red for Wales” banner will be prominent at all home games. A group of players have posed for pictures with the banner and the campaign is fully supported by the players and staff at the FAW. Wear your club colours with pride at club matches but we all need to unite behind Wales at international games.

Any other business

Israel

It was noted that Israel has been banned from hosting Champions league or Europa League games due to the conflict in the country. Fans are asked to be aware of this now before booking advanced flights. There is no current motion that this game will be moved elsewhere at the moment but fans are urged to be cautious.

Welsh women’s football
There is a vital Women’s World Cup match at Cardiff City Stadium against England on 21st August, hopefully there will be a good crowd there to cheer them on.

Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman has been around Wales talking to supporters at different venues and will be coming to more soon; this will be advertised on the FAW website. If you know a suitable venue and can guarantee a decent turnout then contact the FAW and something could possibly be arranged in your area. He may attend our next meeting with the FAW, if he is available. 

It was noted that the players did acknowledge the travelling fans in the Netherland at the final whistle and hopefully this will become the normal practice.

  • If you have any more ideas or questions, email paul.corkrey@fsf.org.uk.
  • More FSF Cymru news including previous minutes of meetings here.

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