GARETH BALE has backed Wales’ pledge to invest £4million in grassroots facilities after qualifying for their first World Cup since 1958.
Dragons captain Bale will lead his country at the finals in Qatar next November after the play-off win over Ukraine ended 64 years of injury.
Qualifying was worth nearly £10m in prize money for Wales, with the pot split for both operations and players’ World Cup bonuses.
However, the Football Association of Wales has announced that it will reinvest a huge sum of its FIFA cash winnings to bring out the next generation.
Bale said: “We are delighted that qualifying for the finals of the World Cup also means that grassroots clubs across Wales will benefit as the FAW supports the development of inspiring, fit-for-purpose facilities.”
FAW chief executive Noel Mooney believes there are “chronic” problems with grassroots facilities.
Mooney said: “As we strive to create a premier footballing nation, it is vital that the FAW and its funding partners stand up and take full advantage of the opportunity that World Cup qualification presents us with.
“The grassroots football facilities across Cymru are particularly poor and our main strategic goal is to address this now.”
FAW President Steve Williams said: “We have a unique opportunity to improve the health and well-being of the nation both on and off the field.
“Improving our grassroots sports facilities is crucial to ensure that football and other sports can continue to be successful in the future.
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“We don’t want to wait another 64 years for a Cymru appearance at the World Cup.”
Wales is entering a new era after Ryan Giggs officially resigned as manager on Monday night and Robert Page, who has been interim boss since Giggs’ arrest in November 2020, will lead them in Qatar.
Bale has already backed Page as Wales’ long-term manager and talks over a new deal are expected to take place in the next few weeks.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5615765/gareth-bale-wales-grassroots-pledge-world-cup/ Gareth Bale backs Wales pledge to put £4million back into base to find next superstar after World Cup qualifiers