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Why Czech Republic are now called Czechia for Euro 2024 matches

Why Czech Republic are now called Czechia for Euro 2024 matches

The European nation has changed its name for all sporting competitions.

Since 2016, the Czech Republic national football team has been known as Czechia.

Euro 2024 got underway on Friday, as hosts Germany comfortably dispatched Scotland 5-1 in the opening fixture of the tournament.

The final fixtures of matchday one kick off on Tuesday evening, with Georgia competing in their first-ever major tournament against Turkey at 5pm BST.

Portugal, who are one of the favourites to win the competition, play in Tuesday’s 8pm fixture, but fans may not recognise their opponent.

They face Czechia, a nation known to many as the Czech Republic.

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

Another reason for the change is to avoid confusion over the country’s name when translated to other languages, with Czechia viewed as a more universal name.

It’s the second time that the nation has changed its name, after being known as Czechoslovakia until 1992 when the country split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, who are also competing at Euro 2024.

Czechia have competed in seven European Championships, including the 1996 competition where they reached the final at Wembley, losing 2-1 to Euro 2024 hosts Germany.

Despite boasting top European stars such as Bayer Leverkussen’s Patrik Schick and West Ham United’s Tomas Soucek, Czechia face an uphill battle at the 2024 Euros.

West Ham United's Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal both represent Czechia internationally. (Image: Getty)
West Ham United's Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal both represent Czechia internationally. (Image: Getty)

With 2016 Euro winners Portugal and the highly regarded Turkey both in their group, many predict that Czechia will fail to get automatic qualification for the knockout stages.

Instead, they may need to rely on their fixture against Georgia, who are nearly 40 ranks below them in the FIFA rankings, for some crucial points.

But, with the four best-placed teams in the group stage of the Euros progressing to the next round, as little as one point may be enough, giving Czechia fans a chance of reaching the knockouts.

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Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Euro 2024, Czech Republic, Portugal, West Ham United