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Guardian apologises for branding some Welsh internationals ‘non-Welsh’

25 Jun 2021 4 minute read
Kieffer Moore celebrating scoring a goal. By Chris FPage (CC 2.0)

The Guardian has apologised for branding some Welsh international footballers as “non-Welsh”.

The London-based liberal news organisation came under fire on social media for the claim in an article about how players born outside Wales were assimilated into the Euro 2020 squad.

These players included goalkeeper Adam Davies, who was born in Germany, striker Kieffer Moore, who was born in Torquay, and midfielder Ethan Ampadu, who was born in Exeter.

The newspaper’s readers editor has responded to Welsh academic Dr Simon Brooks who wrote an official complaint about the matter arguing that it was “prejudicial”.

The response said that Dr Brooks made a “valid point”, and added that the “term in question” had been “removed”. It also included “apologies for the initial headline.”

The article described how players born outside of Wales were taught the Welsh national anthem and were told the “importance” of playing for Wales.

The original headline said: “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau: How Wales are assimilating their non-Welsh players”.

Following an online backlash, it was later amended to: “Anthem lessons: how Wales bed in their players born outside the country”.

The response from The Guardian’s readers’ editor said: “Thank you for getting in touch about this. I think you make a valid point, and I certainly wouldn’t disagree with what you have said.

“The headline of the article has now been removed the term in question, and a footnote has been added to be clear a change has been made.

“I hope this addresses the issue you had raised, and apologies for the initial headline.”

Simon Brooks said: “Have now received the formal response from @guardian to my complaint yesterday about the article headline which described second and third generation @cymru players as ‘non-Welsh’. Am grateful to them for putting this right.”

‘In theory’ 

The article said: “In theory, Robert Page could name a Euro 2020 lineup comprising players who were born outside Wales, from Adam Davies, the third-choice goalkeeper who was born in Germany, to the Torquay-born Kieffer Moore in attack.

“After Wales sealed their place in the knockout stages, Uefa posted the customary congratulatory tweet – the word ‘qualified’ plastered across a stock image – but the photo was not of Gareth Bale or Aaron Ramsey but of Moore, a brute force and figurehead who, less than two years on from his debut, it is hard to imagine Wales without.

“Of the Wales players who sealed passage to the last 16 in Italy on Sunday, five were born in England. It is thought Moore could even have played for China.

“So how does Page, who was born in the Rhondda valley and won 41 Wales caps, go about inculcating what it means to play for the nation to those born in, in Chris Mepham’s case, Hammersmith, or, in Ethan Ampadu’s case, Exeter?”

It also quoted Wales manager Robert Page, who said: “We made sure that IG [Ian Gwyn Hughes, the Football Association of Wales’s head of public affairs] gave a speech about the anthem.

“We translated it [the anthem] into English, what the meaning of it is, and it is very powerful. I [also] delivered that to the players in the first meeting before the tournament started.

“It was quite an emotional meeting but it makes the players understand the importance of playing for Wales.”

In response to the original headline, Hedd Gwynfor said: “Non-Welsh? WTF @guardian? They are ALL Welsh! Ychafi!”

Ceri Gwen said: “I’ve seen some pathetic headlines but this takes the cake”.

Kyle Jones said: “I don’t even get mad at this stuff anymore, it’s desperate and pathetic. Absolutely laughable”.

Vaughan Jones said: “If you belong to the diaspora; you belong”.

Jason Lewis said: “This praises the FAW but has a poor headline. It does re-enforce though the ‘they’re all English really’ school of thought.

“Many sports people qualify for multiple countries. Will the term ‘non British’ be used for members of Team GB at the Olympics?”

Matthew Leslie said: “I must have missed the Guardian’s article on how England has ‘assimilated’ those two Irish players.”

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2 years ago

Try to imagine the outcry east of Clawdd Offa if the Guardian had referred to some of the England team as being “non-English”. Of course as a self styled liberal and progressive newspaper the Guardian would never do that. But it felt it OK to do so in the case of the Wales team. Of course there is a certain section of society that would be OK with the branding of certain players as “non-Welsh” or “non-English” and I think the kindest thing that could be said of them is … they don’t go out of their way to be… Read more »

stuart stanton
stuart stanton
2 years ago

Prince Alex Oblensky…..look him up

Androw Bennett
Androw Bennett
2 years ago
Reply to  stuart stanton

Quite right! But give him his correct name: Obolensky.
Other England rugby union international players: Dewi Morris born in Crughywel, Joe Cokanasiga (Suva, Fiji), Teimana Harrison (Opotiki, New Zealand), Semesa Rokodugoni (Nausori, Fiji), Billy Vunipola (Sydney, Australia), etc. etc etc…

2 years ago

Happens too often for the “apology” to be considered genuine.
Jusat another example of the English establishment thinking they rule or own us “lesser” nations. “Take your kicks Taffy! You are dependent on us!”
Remember the tsunami of whining from the Anglo press when in 2016 the Welsh dressing room appeared to be celebrating England being knocked out by Iceland? Double standards.

Last edited 2 years ago by Chris
j humphrys
j humphrys
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

Agree, old trick used generally against any. Headline: “Freedonia builds dungbomb”, then much blather, silence lasting months or years, then the “apology” titled “correction” usually around Christmas time on page 7. But the stain remains……..

Alan Reilly
Alan Reilly
2 years ago

Brit nationalist is so triggered by people having a different opinion, he actively seeks out websites to moan about them lol.

Bit of a snowflake, are we Charlie? Haha!

Androw Bennett
Androw Bennett
2 years ago

Both the goals England scored in their Euros Group matches were scored by Raheem Sterling. Where in England was he born? Kingston. Is that Kingston-upon-Thames or Kingston Upon Hull or somewhere else in England? No! Raheem Sterling was born in Kingston, JAMAICA. Well done Guardian newspaper, putting both your feet in your big mouth.

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