Support our Nation today - please donate here
Sport

Wales fans car to Qatar attempt faces breakdown due to Saudi Arabia laws

14 Nov 2022 5 minute read
Wales fans stuck on the Saudi border (Credit: @EVtoQatar)

A group of four Welsh football fans, who are attempting to reach Qatar in an electric car in time for Wales’ first game in the World Cup have hit a major bump in the road on their epic journey, where a hold up at the Saudi Arabian border could mean they miss Wales’ crucial first game.

Having already driven for 18 days across 17 countries and 3,800 miles in the car, nicknamed Morris, the group are currently stuck at the border between Jordan and Saudi Arabia where Saudi laws prevent them from continuing their onward journey in a right-hand drive vehicle.

The group have been told their only option is to turn around and drive back to Israel and get a ferry around the middle east to Qatar – a two week journey which would mean they miss Wales’ opener against the USA on Monday 21st November.

The drivers had been well on track to arrive in Qatar this Friday (18th November) in time to meet the Wales team at their hotel, bringing with them video messages of support for the squad picked up from fans across the journey, but the border delay now puts all that in peril, as well as making the all-important game itself.

Frustrating

The four co drivers all from South Wales – Nick Smith, Scott Young, Huw Talfryn Walters and Walter Pennell, are travelling with support from Go Ev Cymru, a community interest company with a mission to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles across Wales. The MG4 electric car is being provided by FAW sponsors, Nathaniel Cars.

Speaking from Aqaba in Jordan where the group are currently stuck waiting, driver Nick Smith said: “We were expecting problems with charging points or even the car itself on a journey of this length and magnitude but the car has performed brilliantly and charging has not been a problem. To be stuck on a paperwork misunderstanding essentially is pretty frustrating. It would be devasting to turn around and drive back to Wales now and miss the World Cup when we’ve come this far.”

“We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve had from back home as well as by the build-up and excitement ahead of Wales reaching their first World Cup in 64 years so we just want to keep that momentum going and get to Qatar now.”

Twitter: @EVtoQatar
Instagram electriccartoqatar

You can see the journey so far and upload your message of support for the team at www.electriccartoqatar.com

Nyon, Switzerland- October 31st: The Welsh Electric car to Qatar, at the UEFA Headquarters, The House of the European Football, on October 31st 2022. (Photo by Kristian Skeie – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Car to Qatar itinerary
Day 1 – 28th October
Departure Point – The Vale Resort, Wales
Countries Passed – England
End Destination – Lille, France
Expected Travel Distance – 332 Miles

Day 2 – 29th October
Departure Point – Lille, France – 7.30am
Countries Passed – Belgium, Netherlands, Germany
End Destination – Luxembourg
Expected Travel Distance – 358 Miles

Day 3 – 30th October
Departure Point – Luxembourg – 7.30am
Countries Passed – France
End Destination – Geneva, Switzerland
Expected Travel Distance – 359 Miles

Day 4 – 31st October
Departure Point – Geneva – 7.30am
End Destination – Milan, Italy
Expected Travel Distance – 197 Miles

Day 5 – 1st November
Departure Point – Milan – 7.30am
End Destination – Bolzano, Italy
Expected Travel Distance – 201 Miles
Highlight – Stelvio mountain pass

Day 6 – 2nd November
Departure Point – Bolzano – 7.30am
End Destination – Graz, Austria
Expected Travel Distance – 266 Miles
Highlight – Passing the Dolomites, stopping at Landskron Castle and Wörthersee lake

Day 7 –3rd November
Departure Point – Graz – 7.30am
Countries Passed – Slovenia, Croatia
End Destination – Belgrade, Serbia
Expected Travel Distance – 358 Miles

Day 8 – 4th November
Departure Point – Belgrade – 7:30am
Countries Passed – North Macedonia
End Destination – Thessaloniki, Greece
Expected Travel Distance – 394 Miles

Day 9 – 5th November
Departure Point – Thessaloniki – 7.30am
End Destination – Athens Greece
Expected Travel Distance – 311 Miles

Day 10 – 6th November
Drop off Vehicles at Port – Evening
Taking in the sights and sounds of Athens in the MG4 before dropping off at port, along the way we will meet some residents who are benefiting from the City of Athens City’s Free EV Charging for a year initiative

Day 11 – 7th November
Vehicles Leave for Israel, Crew fly to Israel (Evening)
The car will start its four-day journey by sea to Israel, with some discussion on why the direct route to Qatar is impossible at this time. The team will spend the day exploring Athens by electric scooter and explore how electrification is having an impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of Athens’s residents. Flights to Tel Aviv, Israel.

Day 12 & 13– 8th & 9th November
In Israel waiting on Vehicles

Day 14 – 10th November
Departure Point – Hafia Port, Israel 12midday
End Destination – Jerusalem, Israel
Expected Travel Distance – 95 Miles

Day 15 – 11th November
Departure Point – Jerusalem 7.30am
End Destination – Amman, Jordan
Expected Travel Distance – 154 Miles

Day 16 – 12th November
Departure Point – Amman 7.30am
End Destination – Waddi Rum, Jordan
Expected Travel Distance – 212 Miles

Day 17 – 13th November
Departure Point – Waddi Rum 7.30am
End Destination – Hegra, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected Travel Distance – 319 Miles

Day 18 – 14th November
Departure Point – Hegra 7.30am
End Destination – Hail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected Travel Distance – 262 Miles
Day 19 – 15th November
Departure Point – Hail 7.30am
End Destination – Buraydah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected Travel Distance – 172 Miles

Day 20 – 16th November
Departure Point – Buraydah 7.30am
End Destination – Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected Travel Distance – 221 Miles
Highlight – Try to arrive from Burayadah in one charge, on arrival visit King Fahd Football Stadium

Day 21 – 17th November
Departure Point – Riyadh 7.30am
End Destination – Al Hofuf, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected Travel Distance – 203 Miles

Day 22 – 18th November
Departure Point – Al Hofuf 7.30am
End Destination – Doha, Qatar
Expected Travel Distance – 162 Miles
Highlight – Meet up with the Welsh Squad at 2pm

Day 23 to 27 – 19th to 23rd November
Various Activities with Fan over this period, Watch Wales play their first match 21st November


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
15 days ago

Should have taken out AA Relay and got towed across Saudi.

David
David
15 days ago

They should have taken a left-hand drive car as the countries traveling through drive on the right.

David
David
7 days ago
Reply to  David

Are right-hand drive cars legal in Saudi Arabia?
Right-Hand drive vehicles are not allowed Personal effects shipment must NOT be loaded inside the car. Required documents in Customs Clearance: Four Winds will hand over to consignee the copy of Bayan. This document is required in securing the Certificate fromSaudi Arabian Standard Organization (SASO).

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
15 days ago

Another example of Saudi intolerance. Oh well, at least they weren’t arrested and dismembered or stoned to death as is the Saudi dictatoeship’s way.

Crwtyddol
Crwtyddol
14 days ago

Put it on a trailer or tow it and hire a tow car

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.