THE WELSH Government has been urged to allow supporters to watch Caernarfon’s “biggest match in years,” with one councillor pointing to the “crazy” scenario of fans congregating to watch in pubs but none allowed into an open air stadium.
The Canaries will face off against Newtown in Saturday’s Cymru Premier play-off final, with the winners to be entered into UEFA’s inaugural Europa Conference League.
As well as a timely six figure financial boost just for reaching the preliminary round of the continental competition, the winners will also be bestowed the honour of representing Wales in Europe.
Caernarfon Town FC say they have been “inundated” with messages from fans desperate to see them qualify for Europe for the first time, but stressed that current Welsh Government regulations would not allow it.
This is despite a number of ‘test events’ having been announced over recent weeks, which include the Welsh national team’s friendly match against Albania on June 5 before jetting off to the Euro 2020 tournament.
As things stand, Caernarfon supporters would be permitted to watch the game in nearby pubs or clubs as it is broadcast live on S4C television.
But with no supporters at all being permitted to stand on the terraces of the mostly open air stadium, however, the current situation has been described by one local councillor as “nuts.”
Cllr Jason Wayne Parry, who represents the town’s Peblig ward, added: “A lot of people are talking about it and it doesn’t seem fair to allow thousands into Premier League stadiums this past weekend yet not even a handful into Caernarfon’s biggest game in years.
“The divergence in rules between Wales and England has been problematic but it makes no sense at all in this case, at the Oval you could easily bring in 2-300 people and still maintain social distancing.
“When you consider that so many people have had their jabs and cases in Gwynedd being so low, surely common sense has to prevail?
“As things stand people will just be trying to watch the game from outside of the ground on stepladders or congregating in pubs, its crazy and I can’t see the logic of it at all.”
Up to 10,000 ‘home’ supporters were permitted into English Premier League stadiums for yesterday’s final round of fixtures, with 4,000 Swansea and 3,000 Newport supporters also expected to travel to Wembley for their upcoming play-off final matches.
Wrexham AFC have also been told they will be able to host a limited number of fans if they have a home play-off tie in the Vanaram National League play-offs, but officials running Wales’ main domestic league have been disappointed after the Cymru Premier was left out of test events completely.
In a tweet, the league’s official account pointed out that while 130 fans were allowed to watch Barry Town United’s semi-final playoff against Caernarfon in the clubhouse on Saturday, none were allowed into the 2,500 capacity Jenner Park Stadium.
Such is the strength of feeling in Caernarfon, it has prompted the local Senedd Member to write to ministers requesting that a limited number of supporters be allowed entry to the Oval and trial new protocols ahead of the new league season in August.
“This is the most important game in Caernarfon Town’s history and there will be much interest from their large following,” Sian Gwenllian MS wrote in the letter to Vaughan Gething, who is responsible for “major events” under his economy portfolio, and Dawn Bowden the Deputy Minister for Sport.
“But at the moment supporters will not be allowed into the ground to support their team. I think it is timely to use this match to trial the new protocols that need to be in place by August when it’s hoped that 300 clubs will re-open their gates to their supporters.
“It would make sense to decide on a capacity number and appropriate safety precautions after risk assessments are undertaken at the Oval.”
In response, a Welsh Government spokesman said: “The First Minister has said if the public health situation remains positive, at the next three-week review at the start of June we will consider moving to alert level one, which could allow larger events and organised activities to take place, informed by the programme of pilot events, currently underway.”
Caernarfon Town FC said in a statement: “Since Saturday’s semi-final victory we have been inundated with messages requesting admittance to the ground for the match.
“As much as we would like to allow every one of you in for the fixture, current Government regulations do not allow it.
“Therefore, please do not contact Board members and staff requesting permission to attend the match, as our hands are tied and we simply cannot oblige.
“Only confirmed match stewards will be allowed entrance, as has been the case throughout the season.
“We have already contacted our Member of the Senedd regarding the possibility of lobbying the Welsh Government to allow supporters into the ground for the match and will let you now if there are any developments.
“We would urge you to do the same and contact your local Senedd Members so that they are aware of the strength of feeling on this matter.”