Wales set to take Italy’s training base in Qatar if they qualify for World Cup
It’s been said that the Welsh are Italians in the rain – but they may just be about to become Italians in the desert.
Wales are set to take Italy’s planned training base should they qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Sunday.
Italy were dumped out of the competition by North Macedonia in March, the Balkans minnows upsetting the European champions with a 1-0 play-off semi-final victory in Palermo.
The PA news agency understands that Wales will move into the training base that had been earmarked for the Azzurri should they beat Ukraine in Cardiff on Sunday.
Wales have not played at a World Cup since 1958, but a play-off final victory would see them allocated one of the state-of-the-art base camps to be used for the tournament in November and December.
Each camp consists of a hotel and training site, with every one close to Qatar’s eight tournament stadiums.
“Our training facilities are located across the country,” said Ali Al Dosari, training sites project manager at the Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.
“The longest journey between a training site and hotel will take about 20 minutes by bus.
“Half of the training sites are brand new, while the other half were existing sites that have been upgraded.
“With the new training sites, a team will have a team base camp training site of their own to train in.
“The training site pitches are the same as the pitches in our World Cup stadiums, in terms of the quality of turf and size.”
Each training site has been developed to include floodlit and natural grass pitches, while also including stands for media training sessions, dressing rooms, medical facilities, recovery facilities, a media centre, and IT and communications networks.
The Football Association of Wales has estimated that World Cup qualification could boost their coffers by as much as £10million.
Chief executive Noel Mooney told BBC Wales: “There’s 10.5million dollars (£8m) on offer for teams that qualify for the World Cup – that’s great.
“On top of that, we do have some sponsorships that kick in, some that could be around £1m.
“There is a briefcase sitting on the halfway line (on Sunday) worth somewhere like £10m to the winners.”