A group of Welsh football fans, who are making the 5,000-mile journey to the Qatar World Cup in an electric car, are still determined to make Wales’s first game after getting stuck in Jordan.
Former Cardiff City footballer Scott Young has been joined by Nick Smith, Huw Talfryn Walters and Walter Pennell – all from south Wales, on the cross-continent adventure dubbed Electric Car To Qatar.
Having driven for 18 days across 17 countries and 3,800 miles in the MG4 car, nicknamed Morris, they have been stuck in Jordan.
They have not been allowed to cross the border into Saudi Arabia because Saudi laws prevent them from continuing their onward journey in a right-hand drive vehicle.
The group were told their only option was to turn around and drive back to Israel and get a ferry around the Middle East to Qatar – a two-week journey which would mean they miss Wales’ opener against the US on November 21.
The drivers had been on track to arrive in Qatar on Friday in time to meet the Wales team at their hotel – bringing with them video messages of support for the squad picked up from fans across the journey.
But the border delay in Saudi Arabia means their only option now is to leave Morris behind and fly the final leg of their journey into Doha.
Speaking from Aqaba in Jordan, Mr Smith said: “We were expecting problems with charging points or even the car itself on a journey of this length and magnitude, but the car has performed brilliantly and charging has not been a problem.
“To be stuck on a paperwork misunderstanding has been frustrating, as we were initially told we would be able to get the car through, but we are still determined to make it to Qatar by Friday.
“We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve had from back home as well as by the build-up and excitement ahead of Wales reaching their first World Cup in 64 years, and we will get our messages of support to the Wales team whatever it takes now.
“What this whole amazing journey has shown to us and everyone else is that EVs are capable and comfortable cars – Morris has travelled 3,800 miles with no dramas until now.
“We know the car would have got us to Qatar and then some – but the most important thing now is we celebrate how far we’ve come, both as a group of fans and Wales as a footballing nation.”