Euro 2020: Wales fans facing 'astronomical' costs

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Wales football fansImage source, Getty Images

Welsh football fans are facing "astronomical" costs to travel to games during Euro 2020, a supporters' group has said.

The tournament is being held in 12 cities across Europe to mark its 60th anniversary and Wales will play matches in either Russia or Azerbaijan.

Kieran Jones, from Football Supporters Association Cymru, said fans could pay three times more than in Euro 2016.

But others said the chance to see Wales in another tournament was "worth it".

UEFA has been approached for comment.

Where will Wales play?

The draw for Euro 2020 takes place on 30 November and Wales have been placed in pot four alongside first-time qualifiers Finland and four play-off winners which have yet to be determined.

The 24 teams will be drawn into six groups, with two cities hosting each group's matches.

Wales are guaranteed to be drawn into either Group A - with matches played in Rome or Baku, Azerbaijan, or Group B - with matches played in Copenhagen and St Petersburg.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Wales played in Baku, which is 2,600 miles (4,200km) away from Cardiff, in November 2019 and could be in for a return in 2020

Should Wales make it through to the knockout stages, they will travel to Bilbao or London if they win the group, Amsterdam if they come second and Bucharest, Bilbao or Glasgow should they make it through after finishing third.

The quarter-finals are in Rome, Munich, St Petersburg and Baku, while the semi-finals and final will take place at Wembley Stadium in London.

'Avoid direct flights'

Due to the nature of the draw, Wales could end up playing their first match in Baku, 2,600 miles (4,200km) from Cardiff, a second match in Rome, 1,930 miles (3,100km) from Baku, before returning to the Azeri capital for the final group game.

This means supporters could rack up close to 6,500 miles (10,500 km) in the group stage alone.

But Mr Jones said no matter where Wales end up, it would be an expensive tournament for fans.

"The price in Rome is extremely expensive for accommodation, Copenhagen is very dear," he said.

"The cheapest place is Baku. We don't know why UEFA did this, we were against it.

"Don't do direct flights... direct flights are generally more expensive.

"I know fans who took 25 hours to get to Baku, you can get there in six hours but it was £200 compared to £600. There is talk of fans actually driving across in mini-buses."

Image source, Andrew Morris
Image caption,
Andrew Morris and his son Dylan will follow Wales across Europe next summer

Stay for a holiday?

Tommie Collins from Porthmadog, Gwynedd, recently travelled on his 100th away trip watching Wales and said he would use the group stage as an opportunity to visit new countries.

"Obviously now the excitement goes out of the window and the worry starts," he said.

"If we get Group B I'll definitely be staying there because Copenhagen and St Petersburg have so many options.

"I'll go through Poland to go to Gdansk and Kaliningrad and make my way through those countries.

"I think [if Wales play in Baku] you have to fly there. If you get two games eight days apart, I think a lot of fans won't come back to Rome. I'll probably visit Kazakhstan if that happens."

Andrew Morris who is originally from Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, but now lives in Kent, said he would follow Wales wherever they play their games - and will take his young son with him.

"It's worth it for me. I'm lucky to have a decent enough job that we can afford it. We're quite lucky and we can see places we don't normally see," he said.

He said the uncertainty around the draw was a "nice problem to have" and has been discussing options with friends.

"It will be difficult but definitely be worth it. Everyone has the same problem but it's like an adventure with your mates."