FIFA 2010 World Cup qualifying website review - Wales

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 28 March 2009

During the course of this World Cup Qualifying campaign, I've been reviewing the Football Association websites of England and their opponents. And when England haven't been involved in competitive action, I've been looking at the websites of the other 'home' nations. So far I've looked at Scotland and Northern Ireland, and today it is the turn of Wales.

Wales have a crunch match this afternoon against Finland. Anything other than a win is almost certain to consign the Welsh to another failure to appear in the World Cup Finals. They've only been once, in 1958 in Sweden. Then they qualified by virtue of a special play-off with Israel, after finishing second in their UEFA qualifying group. They did themselves proud in Sweden, and achieved a quarter-final finish, only losing out to eventual winners Brazil.

The Wales team that played Israel to qualify for the 1958 World Cup Finals

Wales are also responsible for my first traumatic memory of England in action. I can very dimly recall the Tartan Army smashing up Wembley in the 1970s, but the 4-1 mauling in Wrexham in the Home Nations series in May 1980 is my earliest memory of sitting and watching an England performance on television in utter disbelief. The first of many it transpired.

Wales  Football Association of Wales

Wales FA badge

The Welsh FA website has a vibrant and neatly compact design. There are links in the banner area to increase font size, and the site is available in both English and Welsh.

Welsh FA homepage

As you'd expect, there is a lot of coverage of the various representative teams of Wales, including penpics of the current senior squad with individual profiles.

Welsh squad pictures

However the navigation also has a lot of links to the bureaucracy of running football. Links to things like a programme of licensing clubs, and the results of the latest disciplinary proceedings are prominent.

Welsh FA navigation

One thing I did find a bit odd was that the site published comprehensive bilingual information about the ticketing arrangements for forthcoming matches - but only in PDF format.

PDFs are attached for ticket information

On the plus side, contacting the FAW seemed very easy. There was a form to fill in, or you could email directly, and they even listed the individual extension numbers for different departments and members of staff.

Contact Us page on the Welsh FA site

Social bookmarking, social media and search

Individual news stories do not come equipped with social bookmarking links.

A news item on the Welsh FA website

The site, in common with the vast majority of football association websites that I have reviewed, does not seem to carry any user generated content at all.

One interesting thing though is that there is no global site search box in the navigation. Instead, a search box is provided at the top of the reverse chronological list of latest news.

A search box is placed above the news headlines

RSS and Video

More unusually, the site has no RSS feed of news, nor does it appear to carry any video content.

On Wednesday Wales face Germany in another World Cup Match, and when I reviewed the German FA site for Euro2008, they had extensive video content about their national team. I think this just goes to show how the finance gap that is affecting club football also affects the international scene.

Promo slot for DFB-TV

A clip from DFB-TV about signing a bus

Next...

On Wednesday I'll be reviewing the website that belongs to the Федерація Футболу України, as England, with a 100% qualifying record so far, face Ukraine at Wembley.

2 Comments

You might like to know that the FA have a new look site.

To be honest...I review soccer websites from Europe all the time...right now I'm just worried about US getting out of their qualifier. They are currently tied for third and are in a must win situation. Donovan better get his act together and soon!

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