List of host grounds of Wales home international football matches

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This is a list of stadiums which have hosted Wales international football matches. To date, fifteen grounds have been used to host Welsh home matches.

History[edit]

The Racecourse Ground has hosted more Wales international matches than any other stadium

Wales' played their first home international on 5 March 1877 at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, losing 2–0 to Scotland.[1] As a result, the Racecourse Ground is officially recognised as the oldest football ground in the world that continues to host international matches, ahead of Hampden Park in Glasgow which did not host its first match for another 27 years,[2][3] and has hosted more Welsh international matches than any other ground.

To date, Wales have played four home matches in England, the first in 1890 when they hosted Ireland at the Old Racecourse in Shrewsbury.[4] The remaining three matches were all held at Anfield in Liverpool. The first match moved to Anfield was against Scotland on 12 October 1977 after severe crowd trouble following a qualifying match for UEFA Euro 1976 between Wales and Yugoslavia the previous year.[5] The final two matches were played when, due to the large demand of travelling away fans, a game against Italy was moved to Anfield in 1998. The following year, Denmark complained to UEFA that they should receive the same treatment in order to bring their planned 4,000 fans who could not be accommodated at the proposed venue, Ninian Park. The decision to move the tie was slammed by Wales' assistant manager Graham Williams, who labelled it as "shocking", and Football Association of Wales president John Owen Hughes who commented "they are entitled to 10 per cent (of a stadium's capacity), not a set figure".[6] Despite Wales' resistance to the move, the match eventually went ahead at Anfield.

In 2000, the Millennium Stadium, a 74,500 capacity stadium, was opened in Cardiff and was immediately assigned as the new home venue for Welsh football matches, hosting its first match on 29 March 2000 against Finland which, due to the increased capacity of the new stadium, set a new attendance record for a Wales international match of 65,614.[7] However, in recent years the ground has seen a dramatic drop in attendances for international matches due to the progress of the Welsh side in qualifying competitions which lead to calls from several senior figures in Welsh football, including national team manager John Toshack and players such as Jason Koumas and Craig Bellamy,[8][9] to move matches away from the Millennium Stadium. In response, several friendly matches were moved to various venues around Wales, including the first international matches held at the Cardiff City Stadium, Liberty Stadium and Parc y Scarlets. In July 2010, plans were revealed to move three of Wales' four upcoming home matches during the qualifying stage of UEFA Euro 2012 away from the Millennium Stadium, which would become the first competitive fixtures to be played away from the ground since it opened.[10]

List[edit]

Number of
matches
Stadium First international Opponent Last international Opponent
91 Racecourse Ground, Wrexham 5 March 1877  Scotland 6 February 2008  Norway
84 Ninian Park, Cardiff 6 March 1911  Scotland 13 October 1998  Belarus
35 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff 29 March 2000  Finland 24 March 2011  England
20 The National Stadium, Cardiff 31 May 1989  West Germany 29 March 1997  Belgium
17 Vetch Field, Swansea 9 April 1921  Ireland 19 October 1988  Finland
11 Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff 14 November 2009  Scotland 11 October 2013  Macedonia
7 Liberty Stadium, Swansea 17 August 2005  Slovenia 26 March 2013  Croatia
6 The Arms Park, Cardiff 16 March 1896  England 14 March 1910  England
3 Anfield, Liverpool 12 October 1977  Scotland 9 June 1999  Denmark
3 Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli 29 May 2009  Estonia 15 August 2012  Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 The Oval, Llandudno 19 February 1898  Ireland 24 February 1900  Ireland
2 Penrhyn Park, Bangor 27 February 1892  Ireland 21 March 1904  Ireland
1 Aberdare Athletic Ground, Aberdare 11 April 1908  Ireland 11 April 1908  Ireland
1 Nantwich Road, Crewe 4 February 1888  England 4 February 1888  England
1 Old Racecourse, Shrewsbury 8 February 1890  Ireland 8 February 1890  Ireland
1 St. Helen's, Swansea 24 February 1894  Ireland 24 February 1894  Ireland
1 The Park, Llandudno 19 February 1898  Ireland 19 February 1898  Ireland

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wales 0-2 Scotland". Welsh Football Data Archive. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  2. ^ "Oldest international football ground world record set by Wrexham Racecourse". World Records Academy. 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  3. ^ "'Old' stadium claims world record". BBC Sport. 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  4. ^ "Wales 5-2 Ireland". Welsh Football Data Archive. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  5. ^ "Wales great match". BBC. 2003-08-14. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  6. ^ Walker, Paul (1999-02-24). "Wales told to play at Anfield". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  7. ^ "Wales - international results - 2000-2005 - details". rsssf.com. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  8. ^ "Toshack backs Wales venue change". BBC Sport. 2009-09-04. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  9. ^ "Millennium magic does not work for John Toshack's men". Western Mail. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 
  10. ^ "Wales ready to move from Millennium Stadium". South Wales Echo. 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2010-07-02. 

External links[edit]