Why is Wales allowed to participate in the World Cup?

Wales star Gareth Bale could have played for England too. He has played for Wales since 2006. Photo: dpa/Alessandra Tarantino

Although Wales is not an independent country, it does have its own World Cup team. We explain why different rules apply to a soccer-mad country.

Wales are in Group B of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. This makes the residents of the small but football-crazy country proud. But why is Wales even allowed to play for its own team in the World Cup? The country is not an independent country but is part of the United Kingdom.

This is why Wales can play in the World Cup

This relates to the history of football, which originated in England. The world’s first football association, FIFA, was founded there in 1863. About ten years later, separate football associations were formed in Scotland, Ireland and Wales. These associations already existed when FIFA was founded in 1904. As the football organization did not wish to exclude countries, FIFA allowed the United Kingdom to be represented in several associations.

When does Wales play?

  • Monday 11/21/2022 The time is 20:00 USA time
  • Fri, 11/25/2022 11:00 Wales – Iran
  • Tuesday 11/29/2022 20:00 Wales – England

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