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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2005, 16:47 GMT
FA Cup advert lost in translation
Merthyr Tydfil celebrate their goal in the 2-1 defeat by Walsall
The advert should have been on display here in Merthyr...
Fans at a football game between two English teams were left scratching their heads after a Welsh-language hoarding was put up along the pitch.

The advert, by a Welsh assembly body which promotes trade with Wales, went up at the clash between Staffordshire minnows Chasetown and opponents Oldham.

One assembly member cried foul over a message originally intended for a game 120 miles away in Merthyr Tydfil.

Wales Trade International said it had not had to pay out for the mix-up.

The story of how the soccer advert got lost in transit - and ended up lost in translation - began when it was commissioned for Merthyr Tydfil's clash with Walsall, shown on Sky.

But before it could go up at the south Wales ground for the FA Cup game, it disappeared.

It was a good and genuine intention that just didn't work
Dave Long, Wales Trade International

The contractor dealing with the bilingual advertisement decided to make amends by putting up a replacement at its next game - the all-English televised match, far away from Wales Trade International's intended audience.

The sight of the bilingual advert at the Chasetown-Oldham game on BBC 1 astonished Vale of Clwyd AM Ann Jones.

Chasetown and Oldham Athletic drew 1-1
...but ended up here as Chasetown drew 1-1 with Oldham Athletic

"When I first saw the sign I thought I my eyes must be playing tricks on me," said Ms Jones, a Rhyl FC season ticket holder.

"I couldn't understand why Welsh exporters could get any value out of a hoarding at a tiny English football ground."

The advert was promoting a business event at the Merthyr ground on 23 November. Dave Long, the head of corporate services at Wales Trade International said: "It turned out that our hoarding had disappeared in transit.

''Doing a favour'

"The company dealing with it, as a favour for letting us down, reprinted the hoarding to put at the next game they were going to, which was Chasetown.

"It was a good and genuine intention that just didn't work but the guy honestly thought he was doing us a favour.

"He just didn't realise the ramifications - there is no obvious reason for Wales Trade International to promote its services in Staffordshire.

"But they thought they were doing the best in the circumstances - they weren't privy to the whole campaign. It was just a mistake."

Ms Jones raised the issue with Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies, who told her that the contractor thought it was "an acceptable alternative" to put the sign up at Chasetown.

"Obviously, it was not," said Mr Davies. "Wales Trade International has informed the company of this and that, under the circumstances, payment would not be appropriate."

Mr Long said: "We had a phone call from someone in Sheffield Wednesday the other day asking if we wanted to put the sign at their ground when Cardiff play there next.

"Needless to say we haven't taken them up on the offer," he added.

Wales Trade International declined to identify the contractor.

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Merthyr 1-2 Walsall
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