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Conservatives calls for Wales to host 2023 Nations League final

15 Jun 2022 3 minute read
Wales fans stand for a national anthem before the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier play-off final match. Photo by Mike Egerton / PA Wire.

Welsh Conservatives have called for Wales to host the final of the Nations League in 2023.

Senedd Member Janet Finch-Saunders said that “despite being a small country” Wales had shown that it was “a serious sporting nation”.

The Nations League Finals from 14 to 18 June next year will be contested by the four group winners of Nations League A. On 13 April 2022, UEFA announced that Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Wales had declared an interest in hosting the tournament.

Wales play in the highest tier of the Nations League but are in the relegation zone after the first batch of matches after last-minute losses against Poland and the Netherlands twice. They also drew at home against Belgium.

But hosting the final could be a way of promoting Wales abroad as the team made inroads into international football with a first World Cup appearance in 64 years, Janet Finch-Saunders said.

“The recent success of the men’s team should see renewed efforts for an international campaign to promote travel to Wales,” Janet Finch-Saunders said.

“Sport can be a fantastic soft lobby tool, and I would full heartedly support initiatives put forward by the Welsh Government to capitalise on this and see places such as Llandudno, Sir Benfro and our Capital become a part of peoples travel plans for the summer.”

She added: “Wales continues to surpass international expectations and has built a reputation for being a serious contender against some of the world’s best international football teams.

“Their recent success in qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar shows us how far the men’s Wales football team has come and the power sport can have in bringing millions of people together for a precious 90 minutes.

“For Wales to host the UEFA Nations League final would be a great opportunity for us to invite the wider European community to Wales and showcase the best of Welsh culture and heritage. With numerous stadiums across Wales that can be used, the nation is ready to host no matter the result.”

Last week ended Member Mabon ap Gwynfor tabled a motion in the Senedd congratulating Wales on reaching the World Cup final and Welsh football fans for their “exemplary behaviour during the campaign to reach the world cup finals”.

The motion was backed by 28 other Senedd members from Plaid Cymru, Labour and the Conservatives.

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