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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 May, 2003, 06:51 GMT 07:51 UK
Decision on match anthem due
Cardiff City players celebrate reaching the Division Two play-off final
The Bluebirds may be bound for Division One
Welsh soccer fans expect to find out on Wednesday whether their national anthem can be sung at a key match in the Millennium Stadium.

A furious row erupted when it emerged that only God Save the Queen would be sung ahead of Cardiff City's Division Two promotion play-off final against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.

Patriotic Bluebirds fans insisted they should be allowed to sing the Welsh national anthem, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of My Fathers) at one of the club's highest-profile games.

And they pledged to defy the ban by singing the song, drowning out the English anthem favoured by the Football League.

However, after talks with police, the clubs and the stadium management, the authority is understood to be reviewing its decision.

Compromise

South Wales Police said the force wanted a compromise to please all concerned.

They should have a rethink on the matter - I don't think QPR would object
Cardiff fan Andrea Davies
That could mean playing both anthems or neither.

Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau is traditionally played at the Millennium Stadium before Welsh rugby and football internationals.

But the Football League, which runs the play-offs, said only the UK anthem would be sung at the domestic clash, in which the sides play for promotion to Division One.

Angry

Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau was played in Wembley Stadium before Swansea City's play-off match against Northampton in 1997.

Millennium Stadium
The Millennium Stadium will host Cardiff and QPR
It is believed that the anthem was also played in London before Cardiff City's 1927 FA Cup final victory over Arsenal.

Sunday's game has sold out with both Cardiff City and QPR selling their 32,000 allocations for the 72,500 stadium.

Politicians were among those who reacted angrily to the snub for the Welsh anthem.

Plaid Cymru and Conservative AMs had called on the league to backtrack, with Plaid's Owen John Thomas condemning the decision as "an insult".

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said he did not see the purpose of singing national anthems in the play-off final - but, if they were to be sung, it should be both anthems or neither.

Fans were baffled at the decision. Andrea Davies, a Cardiff City fan of 25 years, said: "While I understand that it is a play-off final of the English Football League, it's being played in the capital city of Wales and involves a Welsh club.

"It would be a nice gesture for the Football League to acknowledge that fact and play the Welsh national anthem."

The Football League would not comment on the decision not to play Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau.




SEE ALSO:
Blake hymn tops anthem poll
23 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Choir's disharmony over anthem
07 Feb 02  |  Wales
MPs demand BBC reinstates anthem
11 Jan 02  |  Politics


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