Welsh Government to spend £1.8m promoting Wales' participation at the World Cup in Qatar

The moment Wales secured their place in the 2022 World Cup finals. Credit: PA Images

Almost £2 million will be spent by the Welsh Government to promote Wales's participation at the World Cup in Qatar.

A series of projects supporting culture, arts and heritage will be launched in a bid to secure a lasting legacy for Welsh football.

Wales qualified for the World Cup finals in June after beating Ukraine 1-0. It's the first time the side have been in the tournament since 1958.

The World Cup Partner Support Fund will see a total of £1.8 million shared among 19 projects.

These will include a festival of creativity and culture, a concert in North America highlighting Welsh culture that will be broadcast on the eve of Wales's match with the US and support for the new Football Museum for Wales in Wrexham.

The Welsh language is also being promoted through community singing sessions.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: "The Welsh Government has established an ambitious and exciting range of activities to make the most of the unique opportunity offered by the Cymru men's football team's participation in the Fifa World Cup.

"This is the most significant marketing and sports diplomacy opportunity ever presented to the Welsh Government given the profile of the event.

"We will promote Wales, project our values of inclusivity and diversity, ensure the safety of Welsh people at the tournament, and secure a positive and lasting legacy from our participation at the tournament.

"It is vital we build a legacy from the World Cup that inspires the next generation of our boys and girls and highlights how sporting participation can drive the health and well-being of our nation.

"We are determined to capitalise on this historic achievement and deliver real benefits for people here in Wales."

Gareth Bale celebrates after taking a free kick which is deflected into the net for an own goal during the FIFA World Cup 2022. Credit: PA Images

The country's 64-year World Cup drought ended following captain Gareth Bale's deflected free-kick against Ukraine to qualify for the tournament.

Wales' first match of the World Cup is against the USA on November 21.

The team were relegated from the Nations League's top tier on Sunday after losing to Poland. They suffered a 1-0 defeat at Cardiff City Stadium in what was their last game before the World Cup.

Karol Swiderski, just as he had done when the two sides met in Wroclaw in June, came up with a second-half winner to seal Wales' demotion to League B.

Wales needed victory in Cardiff to secure their place in the top flight of European football but instead fell into the second tier.