South East Wales

Messages of support for Cardiff City at Wembley

Cardiff City celebrate play-off semi-final win over Leicester City
Image caption Cardiff City in the Premier League would "help put Cardiff on the map"

Wales' political leaders are backing Cardiff City as they prepare for one of the biggest games in the club's history.

First Minister Carwyn Jones and Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan both wished the Bluebirds luck in their quest for promotion to the Premier League.

A win over Blackpool at Wembley on Saturday would see City play the likes of Manchester United next season.

Mr Jones said this would bring great benefits to the local economy.

The city's rugby team also has its own cup final on Sunday when Cardiff Blues compete for the Amlin cup in Marseille.

Mr Jones said: "It's a massive weekend for Cardiff football and rugby fans and I'd like to wish both teams all the best luck for their big matches.

"A place in the Premier League will bring massive financial rewards for Cardiff City and great benefits to the local economy as whole.

"Whatever happens on Saturday, the performance of the players and the management team this season is to be applauded in getting them this far."

Mrs Gillan, who was born in Cardiff, said she wanted to send her best wishes to the Bluebirds and their manager, Dave Jones.

"I am very pleased that the Bluebirds have done so well this season, and it is to their credit that they are only 90 minutes away from the Premier League," she said.

'Very exciting'

"I sincerely hope that come tomorrow, Cardiff will be the first Welsh team to make it to the Premier League."

Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones added his good wishes, saying: "This weekend sees the climax to a very exciting and successful season for the capital's football and rugby teams.

"They have already rewarded their fans with many memorable performances this season and let's hope they can both put up one more."

Cardiff Lord Mayor Councillor Keith Hyde said Saturday was a "key date" in the history of the Bluebirds and for the city.

"I would like to wish the Bluebirds good luck for Saturday and I hope that I will be welcoming the team back to the city as a Premier League football team," he said.

Cardiff council leader Councillor Rodney Berman said: "Cardiff City FC being in the Premier League won't just be amazing for the club, it will also be a great opportunity for the city, helping to put Cardiff on the map and giving us the opportunity to showcase what Cardiff has to offer to a whole new audience."

Should the Bluebirds win, an open top bus parade would be held in the city on Sunday afternoon.

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