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Wales Euro 2016 semi-final run earned £3m profit for FAW

Wales celebrate against Belgium

Wales’ performance at Euro 2016 helped them return to the top 10 of the Fifa world rankings

Wales’ run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 earned a £3m profit for the Football Association of Wales.

Chief executive Jonathan Ford says it will all go back into Welsh football to help improve facilities at every level.

The women’s game is one of the “target areas”, with Ford admitting Wales lags “the best part of a decade behind” countries such as England and Germany.

“Making sure the women’s teams are successful is probably our biggest opportunity,” he said.

“In the time I’ve been in charge of the FAW, over the past six years, the budget for the women’s game has actually tripled – so we are putting a lot of emphasis on it.”

Wales women have never qualified for a major tournament, and ended their Euro 2017 qualifying campaign with a goalless draw against Austria at on Tuesday.

Manager Jayne Ludlow said before the game her team took inspiration from their male counterparts, who reached the last four of this summer’s European Championship – their first major tournament since 1958 – before being knocked out by eventual winners Portugal.

“We generated a profit of just over £3m [from Euro 2016],” Ford told BBC Wales Sport.

“We’re a non-profit organisation so all of that money will be going back into the game.

“We need to improve facilities so it’s likely to be [spent on] infrastructure to ensure we continue to improve football in this country.

“We’re talking about training facilities for the elite of the game, right through to community clubs and the grassroots of the game.”

Ford was at Rodney Parade in Newport to watch Wales women, who finished third in their group, conclude their European Championship qualifying campaign – and he said: “Jayne [Ludlow] is in it for the long term, and we are too.

“In participation terms, it’s the fastest growing sport and we need to make sure we capitalise on that so we can compete with the Norwegians, the English, the Germans and the like who really have demonstrated how women’s football has come on leaps and bounds.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37424589