Petition launched calling on FAW to say ‘no’ to more royal patrons
A petition has been launched calling on the Football Association of Wales (FAW) to say ‘no’ to any more royal patrons.
Started by Cymru Republic, the Change.org petition has already gained over 1000 signatures within two days of being live.
The petition states: “We the undersigned call upon the Football Association of Wales to discontinue their discussion about the appointment of a Royal Patron to the Association.
“What the FAW needs is a patron who is passionate about our Nation and who will promote Welsh football at all levels and is a well-known and respected citizen of Wales. The person chosen should seek to further unite our nation and not be a divisive figure as royal patrons so often are.”
The organisation says it believes in a Wales “free from the monarchy”, and if any new patron were to be chosen at all, the person needs to “reflect the modern Wales that we want to celebrate”.
Bethan Sayed from Cymru Republic said: “In December 2022, a Nation.Cymru report stated that following the death of the Queen, the Princess of Wales could potentially take over the role of FAW Patron.
“Chief Executive Noel Mooney is quoted as saying the decision was ‘under review’ and didn’t want to do anything that was divisive or that would alienate people.
“It was reported that FAW would take 2023 to decide on this, but in communications with Cymru Republic, it has been implied that no such discussion has happened or is happening. When will they discuss it then? The Royal Family has no place at the head of the FAW.”
The campaign group will leaflet Wales v Croatia in Cardiff on the 15th of October and Wales v Gibraltar on the 11th of October in Wrexham to raise awareness of the petition.
Supporter of Welsh independence, Gwenno Dafydd said Cymru Republic had written to the FAW a number of times but was told the association has no plans to discuss the matter internally.
He said: “The FAW should know that if they put forward a Royal Patron it will be divisive and alienating to many of us as fans and as Republicans.
“Choose someone who is passionate about our nation, who cares about the promotion of Welsh Football on an International level, who we can be proud of. Do not choose a member of the Royal family.
“I have written several emails to a senior member of the management team since July the 31st 2023 on behalf of Cymru Republic about this urgent matter but I have been told that the FAW have no plans to discuss this internally. Why not? We need to know that they will rule out a Royal Patron.
This wholly unnecessary and unwanted royal patronage has to stop NOW so that this will establish a permanent precedent.”
In December last year, following the death of the Queen the FAW’s Chief Executive, Noel Mooney said that the issue of the royal patron was “under review”.
“We’re always looking to see what’s the right thing for the FAW to do, what’s the right thing for us as a country to do,” he said.
“At the moment we are doing a due diligence on the whole thing, what are the benefits for Welsh football.
“At the same time we don’t want to become an organisation that’s divisive. We want to be an organisation that’s inclusive to everybody.
“We’re very sensitive around these matters, and I think it’s fair to say we showed a lot of respect when the Queen passed away.
“Going forward we have to keep thinking about the evolution of the Association and we will have discussions to see what people’s views are.
“What we must do is make sure we don’t do anything that is divisive and alienates people.
“We are a very broad church and we represent every political and historical spectrum in Cymru, and we must continue to do that.
“We will take our time in 2023 to look at it properly.
“Let’s gauge what’s happening around us, see what other organisations are doing and what is the appetite (to have royal patronage).”
Adam Johannes from the campaign group said: “Football is the people’s game, a cornerstone of our democratic working class culture. An opinion poll showed Wales is now the Republican heartland of Britain with more opposition to the monarchy than other areas.
“Tens of thousands signed a petition opposing the title of Prince of Wales. FAW must not appoint a billionaire royal patron and look to a figure more appropriate to be an ambassador for the beautiful game and the young, egalitarian, modern democracy we wish Wales to be.
“The FAW should put a process in place for an alternative discussion on who should be patron, consulting with fans and the wider football community on who it should be, how long they should serve, and so forth.”
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