Watch: The monumental scenes as Tenerife is invaded by the Welsh
When many Wales fans decided not to go to Qatar for the World Cup, thousands decided they would head somewhere else instead.
Their choice was the sunshine island of Tenerife. Part of the Canaries and hugley popular with British families, it has become the unoffical Welsh destination for the World Cup.
There were a myriad reasons those fans made alternative plans, from affordability – flight and accommodation prices, to the availability of alcohol, to those who vehemently disagree with Qatar’s horrendous human rights record.
An estimnated 3-5000 fans have headed out to catch some winter sun and watch Wales at a first World Cup in 64 years. Judging by the joyous scenes from Tenerife, it looks like it was a very good decision.
There was an emotional anthem which rang out across the resort last night and a sense of joy and relief when Wales salvaged a draw. There was also plenty of drinking and partying.
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WATCH THE TENERIFE CONGA
Wales fan Nigel Harris, from Barry, has travelled out with his wife Barbara and a group of friends.
“I reckon there is between 3-5000 coming over for the group games, some coming and going at different times,” he said. “There were 700 in the adjoining bars I was at in Costa Adeje, they even set up tables and chairs up on the pavements above, but many others were busy or full and ditto in Playa de Las Americas.
“It’s been a joy to share it with fans from all over Wales but a few other nationalities here too all loving the cheap beer and blazing sun. We had Senegal fans with us for their game before the Wales match and there was also a brilliant conga that went all along the street before coming back to the bars!”
Tenerife today. Welsh in town pic.twitter.com/yHrIz6Clwh
— Tenerife Football + (@ArmadaSur92) November 21, 2022
Bethany Evans from Caerphilly had initially considered travelling to the Middle East but after discovering the trip would cost her around £3,500 she decided to re-create the World Cup atmosphere elsewhere, so booked a trip to the Canary Islands at a fifth of that price, at £700.
She told ITV Wales: “It literally started as a joke that I made on Twitter. The day we qualified I was looking for flights and things to Qatar and wasn’t able to get any quite cheap. So I just posted on Twitter for a joke, ‘does anyone fancy Tenerife, it’s still warm and cheap?’”
Definitely still here pic.twitter.com/9v6Hu1uSiS
— Nigel Harris (@NigelBlues) November 21, 2022
Thousands of Welsh fans jumped on board so she made an official group on Facebook and made deals with local bars that will host the fans during the tournament, and the venues have decorated their bars accordingly in anticipation of their arrival, supporting Wales in the tournament.
Bethany added: “I’ve made arrangements with two bars that have agreed to host Wales fans. They’ve kitted out their bars in everything Wales, flags, bunting, etc, hired in catering companies for food, and also a lot bought a lot of extra beer in, they said, for us.
“It’s amazing in all honesty. I think regardless of where I get to watch the game, the fact that I’m going to be surrounded by Wales fans, watching the first World Cup that I’ve seen Wales playing, it’s just absolutely amazing and it’s something that I’ll never forget,” she added.
“Knowing that I’ve arranged something that is going to have that effect on other people as well is absolutely insane. This could be people’s first or even last World Cup that they ever get to see Wales play and that feeling is something that I will never forget.”
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