Wales or Cymru? Welsh considering name change in soccer

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Wales’ soccer team is considering a name change after the World Cup.

The Welsh soccer federation wants to call its teams “Cymru” — the Welsh name for Wales — at international level to reflect what it is called domestically.

Talks will ramp up after the upcoming tournament in Qatar, when Wales will appear at a World Cup for the first time since 1958.

“The team should always be called Cymru — that’s what we call it here,” said Noel Mooney, chief executive at the Football Association of Wales. “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.

“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 was brought into focus this month when Wales was drawn in the same qualifying group as Turkey for the 2024 European Championship.

Turkey now competes on the international stage as “Turkiye,” its Turkish name and not the anglicized version.

Mooney said there have been “unofficial discussions” with UEFA at various events about how Turkey, and others, have been able to change their names to their own language.

“We’ve asked what their direction of travel is — for example, is there a movement towards people using their indigenous language?” Mooney said.

“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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The Associated Press