CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — The Wales soccer team is considering a name change after the World Cup.
The Welsh Football Association wants to call its teams “Cymru” – the Welsh name for Wales – internationally to reflect what it is called domestically.
Talks will intensify after the next tournament in Qatar, when Wales take part in a World Cup for the first time since 1958.
“The team should always be called Cymru – that’s what we call it here,” said Football Association of Wales chief executive Noel Mooney. “Our view at the moment is that nationally we clearly call ourselves Cymru. That’s what we call our national teams. If you look at our website, how we talk about ourselves, we really are Cymru .
“Internationally, we think we still have a bit of work to do. So we are going to this World Cup with Wales. But I think 2023 will be a year where we have a good discussion with all the different stakeholders.
The issue was highlighted this month when Wales were drawn into the same qualifying group as Turkey for the 2024 European Championship.
Turkey now competes on the international stage under the name “Turkiye”, its Turkish name and not its anglicized version.
Mooney said there had been “unofficial discussions” with UEFA at various events about how Turkey, and others, might have changed their names to their own language.
“We asked what their direction of travel is – for example, is there movement towards people using their native language?” Moony said.
“What I do know is that there is a renaissance of the Welsh language and a sense of great pride in what we are doing with culture and heritage.”
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