Wales fans get ready to drive to Qatar World Cup in electric car
A group of Welsh football fans are making the 5,000-mile journey to the Qatar World Cup in an electric car.
Former Cardiff City footballer Scott Young will be joined by Nick Smith, Huw Talfryn Walters and Walter Pennell, all from south Wales, on the cross-continent adventure dubbed Electric Car To Qatar.
They are leaving Wales from the Football Association of Wales’ (FAW) headquarters at the Vale Resort in Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan, in their solely electric MG4 – nicknamed Morris – on October 28.
The first leg of their journey will take them through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia before reaching Greece.
A ferry will transport the car from Athens to Israel, where it will then pass through Jordan and Saudi Arabia before aiming to arrive in Qatar on November 18 – a total of 22 days since setting off.
Wales’ crucial group game against the USA takes place on November 21.
Mr Smith said: “We know most people think this is a mad plan – we’ve even had Gareth Bale himself sat in the car looking a bit doubtful about whether we can actually achieve this.
“But we’re confident in the car and we’re up for the challenge. We’re driven by both a love for football and a passion for the positive change electric cars can bring for people and the planet.
“There will be bumps in the road for sure but we’ve got loads of support behind us and we can’t wait to get to Qatar and join the other fans and support Wales in their first World Cup in 64 years.
“If Wales can get to the World Cup against the odds, so can we.”
The drivers will be collecting messages of support for the Wales men’s football team as they take on their journey, which is being filmed for a future TV show.
They will stop at football-themed landmarks along the route, including the UEFA HQ in Geneva.
Nathaniel Cars is providing the MG4 car while Go Ev Cymru – a community interest company – will support the challenge.
Neil Mooney, chief executive of the FAW, said the journey represented “all that is good” about Wales and fitted the association’s new sustainability strategy called Cymru, Wellbeing & the World.
“We will check in with the guys every day to ensure they are on the right road to Doha and that they have found a socket,” he said.
“We can’t wait to meet them on the other side before we face the USA in our opener on November 21.”
Here is their itinerary for the trip, which is expected to take 22 days:
Day one – October 28
Departure point – The Vale Resort, south Wales
Countries passed – England
End destination – Lille, France
Expected travel distance – 332 miles
Day two – October 29
Departure point – Lille, France
Countries passed – Belgium, Netherlands, Germany
End destination – Luxembourg
Expected travel distance – 358 miles
Day three – October 30
Departure point – Luxembourg
Countries passed – France
End destination – Geneva, Switzerland
Expected travel distance – 359 miles
Day four – October 31
Departure point – Geneva – 7.30am
End destination – Milan, Italy
Expected travel distance – 197 miles
Day five – November 1
Departure point – Milan
End destination – Bolzano, Italy
Expected travel distance – 201 miles
Highlight – Stelvio mountain pass
Day six – November 2
Departure point – Bolzano
End destination – Graz, Austria
Expected travel distance – 266 miles
Highlight – Passing the Dolomites, stopping at Landskron Castle and Worthersee lake
Day seven – November 3
Departure point – Graz
Countries passed – Slovenia, Croatia
End destination – Belgrade, Serbia
Expected travel distance – 358 miles
Day eight – November 4
Departure point – Belgrade
Countries passed – North Macedonia
End destination – Thessaloniki, Greece
Expected travel distance – 394 miles
Day nine – November 5
Departure point – Thessaloniki – 7.30am
End destination – Athens, Greece
Expected travel distance – 311 miles
Day 10 – November 6
Drop off vehicles at port
Day 11 – November 7
Vehicles leave for Israel, crew fly to Tel Aviv, Israel
Day 12 and 13 – November 8 and 9
In Israel waiting on vehicles
Day 14 – November 10
Departure point – Haifa Port, Israel
End destination – Jerusalem, Israel
Expected travel distance – 95 miles
Day 15 – November 11
Departure point – Jerusalem
End destination – Amman, Jordan
Expected travel distance – 154 miles
Day 16 – November 12
Departure point – Amman
End destination – Waddi Rum, Jordan
Expected travel distance – 212 miles
Day 17 – November 13
Departure point – Waddi Rum
End destination – Hegra, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected travel distance – 319 miles
Day 18 – November 14
Departure point – Hegra
End destination – Hail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected travel distance – 262 miles
Day 19 – November 15
Departure point – Hail
End destination – Buraydah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected travel distance – 172 miles
Day 20 – November 16
Departure point – Buraydah
End destination – Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected travel distance – 221 miles
Highlight – Try to get from Burayadah on one charge – on arrival visit King Fahd Football Stadium
Day 21 – November 17
Departure point – Riyadh
End destination – Al Hofuf, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Expected travel distance – 203 miles
Day 22 – November 18
Departure point – Al Hofuf 7.30am
End destination – Doha, Qatar
Expected travel distance – 162 miles
Highlight – Meet up with the Welsh Squad at 2pm
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Chwarae teg lads. Doing Cymru proud. I’ll be looking forward to reading about your travel. Pob lwc i’r ddau ohonoch.
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).