FAW to consider making rest of this season’s Welsh Cup draws live following transparency calls

WREXHAM, WALES - 10 JULY 2021: During the 1st round fixture of the 2021/2022 JD Welsh Cup between Ruabon Rovers F.C & Saltney Town F.C at the Recreation Ground, Ruabon, Wrexham, Wales. (Pic by John Smith/FAW) Saltney Town F.C win the game 7 - 2.

The JD Welsh Cup. Pic by John Smith/FAW

The Football Association of Wales says it will consider drawing the second qualifying round of the JD Welsh Cup live.

The suggestion follows calls for more transparency in the way the draws are conducted.

North Wales Coast FA councillor Chris O’Neal received a number of complaints after Monday’s first qualifying round draw threw up numerous local derbies.

Chris O’Neal

Mr O’Neal, who has since written to FAW chief executive Noel Mooney with his views, believes draws for all rounds should be recorded on camera and made public. This was not the case with QR1.

In a statement responding to Mr O’Neal’s questions relating to the Welsh Cup draw process, an FAW spokesperson said:

“The JD Welsh Cup QR1 draw was made on Wednesday 6th July at the FAW National Cup Board meeting.

At the meeting, the Board approved the format, the byes and the regionalisation for the competition from QR1 through to the Final.

“The draw was then made as soon as possible thereafter, in order to communicate to clubs, due to the quick turnaround of just 23 days before the first matches.

“Competition Rule 8 of the JD Welsh Cup focuses on the draw process. In summary, from Qualifying Round 1 until Round 2 (four rounds of matches), clubs are placed in geographical groups.

“JD Welsh Cup Rule 8 states;
“8. The Draw
“(a) From the Qualifying Round up to and including Round 2, clubs will be placed in geographical groups for The Draw. From Round 3 onwards, The Draw will be open.
“(b) The clubs after having been placed by the National Cup Board in their groups shall be drawn in couples. These couples shall compete, and the winners shall be drawn and shall compete in the same manner and this shall be continued until the end of the Competition, when the winning Club shall hold the Cup.

The statement continued: “There were a record number of applicants for the 2022-23 edition of the FAW Welsh Cup, with 253 entries.

“Having factored in the byes for Tiers 1 & 2 Clubs, along with certain Tier 3 Clubs (as per Competition Rules), there were 97 matches and 174 Clubs to draw for Qualifying Round 1.

“These were placed in seven geographical groups with a minimum of 22 clubs and a maximum of 32 clubs in each geographical region with each Club numbered from 1-32. 

“The draw itself with 174 clubs, which consisted of pulling the numbered balls from a velvet bag, took a great deal of time, but following Qualifying Round 1, there will be a maximum of 56 matches in any Round, and as such there may be scope to do a live draw from QR2 onwards.

“The draw was conducted by senior FAW Staff with the FAW President and National Cup Board members present.

“The National Cup Board includes an FAW Vice-President as its Chairman and FAW Council club representatives from North Wales, Mid Wales and South Wales as well as an FAW Life Councillor from North Wales, who were also in attendance, to verify the draw.”

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