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Fears opportunity to market Wales will be swallowed by ‘Great Britain’ campaign at Qatar World Cup

20 Jul 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.

Plaid Cymru have raised fears that opportunities to market Wales at the Qatar World Cup would be swallowed by a ‘Great Britain’ campaign.

Sports spokesperson Heledd Fychan MS said that the Welsh Government had shown a lack of leadership and had no overall strategy to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the Wales men’s football team qualifying for the event.

She also noted a “worrying” reference by the Welsh Government to taking part in the UK Government’s union flag branded campaign GREAT at Qatar.

Ms Fychan said that would “go against everything that the Football Association of Wales has done in developing awareness about out distinct identity as a nation” and said it would be “unforgivable” if Welsh Government let this opportunity pass Wales by.

“The Wales Men’s Team’s attendance at the Football World Cup presents a clear opportunity to showcase the Wales brand on a world stage,” she said.

“We only had five months between qualification and the first match, but as Laura McAllister has said, our small size as a nation should be ‘an asset’ in the current context.

“It’s therefore greatly concerning that no objectives have yet been set for ‘Team Cymru’ – in fact, we’ve only just found out who’s leading from Welsh Government one month on – and there’s only four months left until the team reach Qatar!

“Even more worrying is the reference to the ‘opportunity’ that the Welsh Government sees in the ‘GREAT’ campaign – a solely union flag branded campaign that makes little or no mention of Wales as a separate nation.

“When it comes to the World Cup, it’s imperative that Wales shouldn’t blend into a combined UK brand. Football presents the perfect opportunity promote our unique Cymru brand – it would be unforgivable to let this opportunity slip through our hands.”


Answering questions on the topic last week, however, Vaughan Gething said that work had only recently begun on promoting Wales at the World Cup because Wales had only recently qualified.

“The FAW, in particular, were keen not to be visibly acting as if we’d already qualified before we had,” he said.

“The GREAT campaign that you mention is both an opportunity and a risk. I would want to see UK Government funds benefitting Wales as they’re spent, and the GREAT campaign can’t be simply England in another name.

“England have qualified in their own right, and I look forward to being there to see Wales beat them at the end of our group phase, but we have to be clear that the GREAT campaign is supposed to be about all the constituent parts of Britain, and so that’s one of our challenges.

“We’re really clear that we don’t want to get drawn into something that subsumes our identity, and the projection and the opportunity that this presents, into a wider campaign that doesn’t meet our own objectives.”

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1 year ago

You won’t see England marketed as GB unless they fail at the group stage.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 year ago

If Plaid Cymru were responsible Wales would be heard loud & proud. Welsh Labour reminds me of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbin’s indifference towards Brexit. Seen but not heard.

If the Conservatives have anything to do with it, you’ll have a Union Flag fiasco with God Save The Queen the combined anthem and Boris Johnson its BritNat mascot.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 year ago

Don’t worry. If they see the World Cup as a propaganda opportunity, all we have to do is take along our ‘Diolch i’r wal goch’ hoarding, sing ‘Hen wlad fy’n nhadau’ and ‘Yma o hyd’ loudly and frequently and make a huge banner stating ‘Annibyniaeth’. Be loud in sound and vision and force them to have to conduct their petty campaign bilingually. Watch it all backfire as the world realises they are subjugating a democratic nation.

1 year ago

Since when did GB qualify for the World Cup, or indeed any World Cup?

Is England that insecure about its’ precious union that it wants to undermine Wales’ achievement by promoting Wales & England as GB, rather than focusing on its’ own country? How pathetic.

Last edited 1 year ago by SundanceKid
Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 year ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

Euro 2016 flushed out this nonsense. When Wales were in the semi finals, the England team were making a quiet re-entry via Luton airport after their Iceland humiliation. Instead of the whole of the UK swinging in behind Wales, England held its’ collective breath terrified that we may go all the way heaving a huge sigh of relief when we were knocked out. UK/GB/England is the focus of this so called GREAT campaign using a flag which does not represent Cymru. Our flag, presence and language will make clear that we are an entirely separate entity. What a wonderful opportunity… Read more »

1 year ago

“We’re really clear that we don’t want to get drawn into something that subsumes our identity…” they say as they embrace a campaign marketed with a flag that subsumes our entire existence… 🙄 Sure, that’ll work.

I trust the team, the FAW and Y Wal Goch to represent us and “market” us much more than either government in Cymru or the “UK”.

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