World Cup 2022: The fans who have chosen to support Wales from Tenerife instead of Qatar

Bethany Evans and her friends fly out to Tenerife on Sunday to support Wales Credit: Bethany Evans

More than a thousand Welsh fans are expected to descend on a Spanish island to celebrate and support their team in the 2022 World Cup.

Tenerife, which is more than 4,000 miles away from Doha where the tournament is being held, has been chosen as the unlikely destination for those wanting some sunshine while cheering on Wales.

The cost of traveling to Qatar for many was simply not possible, which sparked an idea for Bethany Evans.

She told ITV News what originally started "as a joke" has completely snowballed.

"[Wales] qualified which was amazing and immediately I looked into going to Qatar but just the cost, it was around three grand and I just couldn't justify it really," She said.

So instead, Bethany posted a tweet saying she is going to watch the World Cup in Tenerife because it is cheaper.

Bethany said helping other Wales fans watch the games abroad at a more affordable price has made her feel "immensely proud". Credit: Bethany Evans

Bethany said: "It kind of expanded to my friendship group of around five or six of us, which then went to twenty. And then someone saw my Tweet - a Wales fan then shared it and said, 'I'm going to go to Tenerife as well'.

"Then it was a spiral effect from there with other people going, 'well I want to come, I want to come', and then it kind of escalated really from there."

Since then, the 25-year-old's tweet has gained 2,500 comments and the Facebook page she set up has more than 2,000 members.

Bethany, along with around thirty others, fly out to Tenerife on Sunday - while she's predicted that around 1,500 others will arrive at the Canary Island on Wednesday.

She said reaching this number of Wales fans and helping them watch the games at a more affordable price has made her feel "immensely proud".

"I've never felt this way before," she said.

"Obviously I've never done anything like this but it's an immense sense of proudness that I'm going to be the reason that some people have memories of watching Wales in a world cup.

"Granted not in person, but in that away feeling and with other fans and knowing that this could be some people's last World Cup that they ever see.

"But also some fans' first World Cups and knowing that's then going to be with them forever is absolutely incredible - to know that I'm the reason that they're going to have that feeling. I'm just so proud."

Bethany has also been in contact with a woman who owns two bars next to each other in the Las Americas area in Tenerife where they are staying. She has secured it as a dedicated Welsh bar for fans to watch the matches.

Bethany said: "[The bar is] hiring in catering for food, they've ordered considerable amounts of extra alcohol but we've also negotiated drinks deals for Wales fans - food deals to make it a bit cheaper, taking into consideration that this was all a cheaper alternative [...] and just getting things like Welsh cocktails. And we've ordered lots of Welsh bunting and flags for their bars.

"They've been absolutely amazing and it's just a really proud feeling knowing that we've all got somewhere to go like that."

Comments and posts on the dedicated Facebook page reveal fans traveling from across Wales to Tenerife.

"Nine of us from Llanelli flying out to Tenerife from Bristol Friday Morning," one person said.

"15-20 from Narbeth flying out Sat 26th," another commented.

Other comments included: "There's 50 boys going from Mountain Ash and Merthyr" and "A few of us from Wrexham there on the 27th."

People already out in Tenerife have posted pictures of them sporting Wales gear - like bucket hats, towels and even Welsh flags with the words "Tenerife 2022" printed on.

Another Wales fan who will be traveling out to Tenerife to join the unofficial Red Wall fan hub is Sue Richards.

Ms Richards said she tries to go to Wales matches whenever she can and once they qualified for the the World Cup, she got wind of the Canary Island plan.

"Once Wales qualified, Tenerife seemed to be mentioned a lot via Facebook," she said.

"It was a no brainer. If it wasn’t Qatar then it would be Tenerife."

Ms Richards, from Caerphilly, is going with her husband and plans to meet up with friends while out there. She said they normally try to go on holiday when the Euro's or World Cup are happening because of the atmosphere abroad.

She added: "I imagine the atmosphere in Tenerife is going to be off the scale with the Red Wall over there."

The tournament officially kicks off on November 20, with Wales playing their first game on the 21st. They will face USA first in the group, followed by Iran and then a much anticipated clash against England on 29th.