IN just over a week and a half, the Welsh football team will play their first game in an international tournament for almost 60 years at the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France.

This is an historic achievement for Welsh football and Wales as a whole. It is easy to see why so many fans across the country will be making the journey to France to support our team.

One of my constituents, Mark Jones, from Blackwood wrote to me asking for my support with his petition for fanzones and public screenings of the matches to be set up in Wales.

I was shocked and disappointed to learn no public screenings have been organised in Wales. Welsh fans who are unable to go to France for Euro 2016 will be left out even though the fanzone for the Rugby World Cup at Cardiff Arms Park attracted more than 158,000 fans earlier this year.

Northern Ireland, which like Wales has not sent its football team to an international tournament for decades, will have an official fanzone with capacity for 10,000 fans complete with a funfair and the largest screen in Ireland to watch the games.

There are a huge number of potential venues across Wales for a public event like this for fans to celebrate the achievement of our team, and cheer them on as they play England – which is an event in its own right – Slovakia and Russia over the coming weeks.

There is of course a cost to public screenings and they must be organised. If a sponsor comes forward quickly, there is every possibility that a good public event can be put on for fans.

I am sure there are a number of companies who would be very willing to sponsor a fanzone. It’s a perfect opportunity to put Wales in the shop window and allow fans the opportunity to show the world their passion for their team and their country.

Mark’s petition has already gathered hundreds of signatures but we need many more to put further pressure on the Welsh FA, Welsh Government, Cardiff Council and perhaps a sponsor to do the right thing and organise a public event for Welsh fans.

If you love Welsh football, please sign and help spread the world about Mark’s petition which can be found online at