Wales is considering changing their international name to Cymru and will hold discussions with players and staff after this year’s World Cup. On a domestic level, the FA of Wales refers to its teams as Cymru, the Welsh name for Wales. But they will be known as Wales in Qatar, their first World Cup since 1958.
What did the Chief Executive of FA of Wales say?
The Football Association of Wales chief executive, Noel Mooney, stated that the potential change would reflect a “renaissance of the Welsh language” and revealed that there have been unofficial discussions with Uefa about the possible switch.
“The team should always be called Cymru, that’s what we call it here,” Mooney told the Press Association. “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 – whether that be governments, our own boards, councils and decision-making bodies, staff, clubs and players.
He further added to his statement
“We’re a very open democratic organization and we don’t just unilaterally decide today to do something like that.
“I would say it’s the direction of travel, but there are no firm decisions on it. It’s almost by osmosis that we’re heading towards it.”
There is precedent for such a change, with Turkey now competing on the international stage as Turkiye following a request by the country’s government for the anglicized version to be dropped.
“You’ve seen countries like Azerbaijan, Turkey and others use their own language,” said Mooney. “They’re quite strong on it and we spoke to the Turkish at the Euro 2024 draw about it.
“We’ve also had unofficial discussions with Uefa over coffees at different events. Asking how Turkey did this, and how other countries did that.
“We’ve 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.”