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18th Jun 2024

The reason why the Czech Republic changed their name to Czechia

Zoe Hodges

Whilst watching the Euros, football fans may notice a change to the way one nation is referred to.

Known to many as the Czech Republic, Czechia kick off their Euros 2024 campaign tonight against Portugal, but why the name change?

In 2016, the country’s government requested that the name Czechia be used in any sporting, literary, musical or media context with the name Czech Republic being reserved for official purposes.

The new name is also said to be viewed as a more universal name which will avoid confusion when translated into other languages, and help boost their reputation abroad.

The nation was formerly known as Czechoslovakia until 1992 when it split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the latter of which registered a shock 1-0 win over Belgium in their opening game of the Euros last night.

Czechia have a tough group with one of the tournament favourites, Portugal expected to top their group whilst Turkey is also tipped to do well meaning Czechia may struggle to get automatic qualification through to the knockout stages.

However, they boast a strong team with West Ham’s Tomas Soucek and Bayer Leverkussen’s Patrik Schick in the squad.

If they come out second best in their games against Turkey and Portugal, all is not lost as the four best-placed teams in the group stage will progress through to the knockout stages.

Georgia, who sit 40 ranks below Czechia in the FIFA rankings, make up group F and will open their Euros 2024 campaign against Turkey in the 5pm kick off. It is the first time Georgia have ever qualified for the Euros.

Meanwhile, Czechia have competed in seven European Championships with their best finish coming in 1996 where they lost 2-1 to Germany in the final of the tournament at Wembley.