Wales fan in Tenerife ‘deflated’ by Iran defeat but determined to enjoy holiday

A Wales fan who flew to Tenerife to watch his nation’s World Cup matches with thousands of compatriots has said he will “make the most of” the trip despite the team’s last-gasp 2-0 defeat to Iran.

Nigel Harris, 60, a financial service worker from Barry Island, admitted the result had left him “very down and deflated”, but said the bars, swimming pools and the Atlantic seaside were “a compensation”.

While many Welsh supporters have flown out to the Middle East, thousands have chosen to visit the Spanish holiday destination of Tenerife instead.

However, the party atmosphere was dented after Wales conceded two goals deep into added time at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar on Friday, leaving them winless ahead of their final group stage fixture against England.

Mr Harris told the PA news agency: “I looked at going out to Qatar. It would’ve cost my wife and myself about seven or eight thousand pounds to do that.

“It wasn’t an option really.”

He said huge numbers of Wales fans in the same situation decided to go to Tenerife after chatting on social media, and said that the atmosphere they have created there is an upgrade on the alternative back home.

“I could be at home and I could be watching on my TV in the house or down the local pub at 10 o’clock in the morning, then go back home,” he said.

“We’re just having a brilliant experience with all the Welsh fans here.

“Everywhere you go you see people in Welsh shirts, bucket hats, so we’re getting a full-on experience without being in Qatar.”

Fans in Qatar have run into difficulty meanwhile, with one Wales party scuppered at the last minute as they could “no longer serve alcohol before midday Friday”.

Mr Harris is due to fly back to Wales on Sunday, but he said he will enjoy the “stunningly hot” weather with his fellow supporters on the island until then despite Wales being on the brink of elimination from the tournament.

“Today it’s super scorching – it’s sort of 25, 26 degrees here, and I cannot describe how hot the sun is. It’s not just high temperature, the sun is really blazing and burning,” he said.

“I’ve got a face that’s redder than my Welsh shirt at the moment!

“We’re just going to make the most of it. We’re all going to meet up again and have a drink tonight and tomorrow night.”