Wales or Cymru? Welsh looking for a name change after World Cup

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    Wales’ football team is looking for a name change after the World Cup. The soccer federation is willing to call its teams “Cymru”: the Welsh name for Wales- at the international level to present its domestic significance. The discussion will blow up after the Qatar World Cup. Here, Wales is having its first appearance ever since 1958.

    Wales to change at Cymru?

    Noel Mooney, chief executive at the Football Association of Wales, said, 

    “The team should always be called Cymru- that’s what we call it here. Our view at the moment is that domestically we’re clearly called Cymru. That’s what we call our national teams. If you look at our website, how we talk about ourselves, we are very much Cymru.”

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    He further added,

    “Internationally we feel we have a bit more work to do yet. So we are going to this World Cup as Wales. But I think 2023 will be a year when we have a good discussion with all the different stakeholders.” 

    The issue came to light this month after Wales was put in the same qualifying group as Turkey for the 2024 European Championship. In the competitive international stage, Turkey appears as “Turkiye”, its Turkish version and not the anglicized version.

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    Unofficial discussion with UEFA

    Mooney said there have been “unofficial discussions” with UEFA at different events about how Turkey and others have changed their names to their parent language. Mooney said, 

    “We have asked what their direction of travel is- for example, is there a movement towards people using their indigenous language? What I do know is there’s a renaissance of the Welsh language and a sense of great pride in what we do with the culture and the heritage.”

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