Wales’ World Cup qualification will result in a £4 million boost for grassroots football

CARDIFF, WALES - 05 JUNE 2022: Wales' Aaron Ramsey, Wales' Gareth Bale and Wales' Ethan Ampadu sing at full time during the 2022 FIFA World Cup play-off final between Wales & Ukraine at the Cardiff City Stadium on the 5th of June 2022. (Pic by Ashley Crowden/FAW)

Wales captain Gareth Bale (centre – armband) is delighted that grassroots football across the nation will benefit from the Red Dragons’ qualification for the 2022 World Cup. Pic by Ashley Crowden/FAW

Wales qualifying for a World Cup for the first time in 64 years spells great news for grassroots football across the nation.

The Football Association of Wales will commit £4 million of further funding to grassroots facilities as a direct result of reaching Qatar 2022.

The FAW’s vision is to create a leading football nation, one where the game is inclusive, accessible and successful – from park football to the world stage – a global, local Cymru.

The Cymru Men’s National Team has put the country on that global stage with qualification to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The FAW sees it as vitally important that this success is felt at a local level and the national governing body has announced that all projected profit from FIFA prize money – £4 million – will be invested directly into grassroots facilities across Cymru following the nation’s first World Cup finals qualification since 1958.

FAW Chief Executive, Noel Mooney said: “As we strive to create a leading football nation, it’s vitally important that the FAW and its funding partners step up and take full advantage of the opportunity that qualification for the World Cup presents us.

“Grassroots facilities for football across Cymru are particularly poor and our key strategic objective is to tackle this now.

“We want to build grassroots clubs across Cymru that act as wellness spaces for the community and to drive the Cymru football movement forward through health, culture, music, language, sustainability, equality, diversity and inclusion.

We cannot do this without significant support from Welsh Government, Local Authorities and DCMS but today we demonstrate our complete commitment to addressing the chronic issues in Cymru’s grassroots football facilities to enable girls and boys to play football in decent conditions.”

Cymru captain Gareth Bale added: “We are delighted that qualifying for the World Cup Finals also means that grassroots clubs across Wales will benefit as the FAW support the development of inspirational, fit-for-purpose facilities.”

FAW President, Steve Williams said: “We have a once in a generation chance to improve the health and well-being of the nation both on and off the pitch by partnering with our members and stakeholders to promote, develop and care for the people who will want to take part in sport as a direct result of Cymru playing at its first World Cup since 1958.

“Improvement in our grassroots facilities is crucial to this so that football and other sports can continue to be successful in the future. We don’t want to wait another 64 years for a Cymru appearance at the World Cup.”

In May, the FAW announced the first phase of the Grassroots Facilities Fund programme with £3.2 million worth of work beginning on 47 projects across the country.

The Grassroots Facilities Fund was developed by the FAW and other stakeholder investors, including Welsh Government, UK Government, Sport Wales, UEFA and FIFA.

Over the summer and early autumn, the FAW will announce the next rounds of funding for grassroots football and will set out how organisations can apply.

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