SCHOOLS in Wales can cancel classes so students can watch Rob Page’s Wales play Iran in the World Cup.
The game starts at 10am on Friday, November 25, making it the only Wales group-stage fixture during school hours. The Welsh Government is leaving schools to determine whether children can watch.
Wales hasn’t been at the World Cup since 1958; a 10-year-old who saw them lose to Brazil in 1958 would be 74 now.
More than 1,000 schools are participating in Cymru Football Friday events organised by the Football Association of Wales.
FAW chief executive Noel Mooney said: “We’ve worked with Welsh Government to create a festival in all our schools and the Iran game is perfect for us. You want a child to remember it and, hopefully, go on to play for us and become the future.”
Cori Mabey, head of PE at Treorchy Comprehensive School, says the event illustrates a move from rugby to football. “I’ve been in the school six years and I’ve seen a transition from rugby to football in that time over both participation numbers and interest.” he told the BBC.
“I’m also in a group chat with teachers in England and they were really surprised we were coming off the timetable during school hours. They’re not doing anything at all. I don’t know if they’re just used to being in tournaments. But there’s a real pride here, especially with the manager Rob Page coming from the Rhondda, that’s bringing people together. We’ll be using the sports hall, the main lecture theatre hall and other televisions will be dotted around classrooms as well.”
Wales’ next two group-stage games start at 7pm: USA on November 21 and England on November 29.
The FAW’s attempts to celebrate Wales’ first World Cup in 64 years have been building up in recent weeks. Huge bucket hats are appearing across Wales, manager Rob Page toured the Rhondda before announcing his squad, and Dafydd Iwan’s Yma O Hyd was remastered with the Red Wall.