Wales v Iran: Team ready to 'give everything' as second World Cup match imminent

14 days ago ITV

Wales are "ready to give everything" when they take on Iran in their next World Cup game in just under and hours time.

Temperatures could reach up to hit 29C when Wales and Iran take to the pitch at 1pm local time at the 40,000-capacity Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Doha.

Hundreds of fans in Doha gathered at the bucket hat corniche on Friday morning as part of a 'pop-up' pre-mach party.

Dafydd Iwan, The Barry Horns, the Urdd choir and plenty of supporters met for a singalong gig before heading off to the stadium.

A sea of red shirts and bucket hats could be seen on the city’s waterfront on Friday, with the crowd belting out fan favourites including Yma O Hyd, I Love You Baby, and the Welsh national anthem.

Iran, ranked 20th by FIFA, have competed in five World Cups before but never made it through the group stages.

They have only met on the grass with Wales once before, at an international friendly in Tehran in 1978, where Wales secured a 1 -0 victory.

Gareth Bale said his team are ready "to give everything" on the pitch against Iran.

Credit: FAW

Speaking about the game against Iran, Bale - the only goalscorer in Wales' opening World Cup match - said he thinks the clash will be "exciting and entertaining" for fans but also a challenge for his side.

It comes as FIFA reassured those heading to the match on Friday that they will be allowed to wear rainbow bucket hats, after the game against USA saw stadium staff telling fans the items were "banned symbols".

One of those told to remove their hat was former Wales international footballer Laura McAllister, who tweeted a picture of her bucket hat ahead of the game.

The rainbow hats support equality and LGBTQ+ rights. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar. On Thursday, the Football Association of Wales confirmed that FIFA had said Rainbow Wall bucket hats and flags will be allowed in the stadium for future games.

Key threats in the Iran's team include players like Mehdi Taremi, Sardar Azmoun and Alireza Jahanbakhsh - who all have first-class scoring records.

30 year-old Taremi scored twice in the game against England and has scored 13 goals in 19 games for Portuguese club side Porto.

Bale said: "It's going to be a difficult game, we know Iran are very good but we'll be looking to try and score as many goals as we can.

"Of course we would love to score more goals but football games aren't so easy. We need to play well, we need to be clinical in our finishing but sometimes the teams don't allow you to score that many goals."

"We know it's going to be a difficult game. We're not going to look at the England game and just because they won 6 - 2 think it'll be a walkover, we're not going to get sucked into that.

"We're going to give everything."

The starting line-up for Wales v Iran

There have been reports that several fans travelling from Dubai to the match on Friday faced visa problems at the airport and risk missing the game.

The Wales Football Supporters’ Association said on Twitter: “Loads (of visas) finally got approved late but this whole process with day permit for Iran game has been difficult for our fans.

“We have informed Fifa and FAW.”

Dozens of fans replied to the post saying they or other supporters had been affected.

Fans with a valid match ticket are able to apply for a Matchday Visit Hayya Card, which is a visa permit that allows entry into Qatar for up to 24 hours.

However, many have reported that they are not being issued in time to board the shuttle flights into Doha.
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