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Wales 6-a-side face uncertain future

Wales 6-a-side team: Lining up in 2015
Wales 6-a-side team: Lining up in 2015

TIME is running out to ensure Wales are present in in the European 6 a side Football Championships after a funding crisis affected their potential participation.

Wales are stated to compete in in Hungary this August alongside 31 other nations – and dozens of local players have already undergone trials, but now a lack of money means the players face the prospect of being at home kicking their heels instead of on the pitch scoring goals.

Spokesman for the UK Minifootball Association (UKMA), Alex Young, explained the issue in stark economic terms: “The funding shortfall we face is something in the region of £20,000, the stark reality is, unless we can find that money before February 24, then there will be no Welsh involvement in the European Championships, which is a tremendous shame, not just for the players and management, but also for the tournament as a whole.”

The February 24 deadline comes into force, because unless the money arrives by that date, Wales will not be able to enter the draw.

Late last year the UKMA announced they were selling the licenses to run the National 6 a side teams. The license to run the English side was purchased by a consortium including ex-Arsenal player Paolo Vernazza. This means that as it stands England will be the only one of the Home Nations in that draw.

Wales have competed at three European 6 a side championship events. Their first appearance came in 2013 in Crete, they were then within seconds of qualification from the groups in Montenegro 2014 and they were back again in Croatia 2015.

Now that history looks set to end, with Young saying: “We are at a desperate point now and we very hope that someone comes forward and the lads can take their rightful place.”

For more details contact office@ ukminifootball.co.uk or ring 0871 2500 131