Monday, April 03, 2006

FAW - Last Bastion of the Welsh-Not

Noticed that the Welsh Language Society are now posting news on their website in English. I just couldn't believe this story! Absolutely disgraceful.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg have strongly criticised FAW Secretary General David Collins and the FAW Council for their anti-Welsh, English-only policy, another prime example of the need for a New Welsh Language Act.

John Pritchard, Secretary of the Caernarfon and District League, recently replied to a letter from the FAW through the medium of Welsh, and to his great surprise, received the following response from FAW Secretary General David Collins:

"I can infom you that the Football Assocciation of Wales conducts its business in English... it will remain the policy of the FAW that all communications are conducted in English."

John Pritchard was also refused permission to speak through the medium of Welsh in two separate hearings with the FAW, and they refused to pay for any translating facilities, forcing John Pritchard to speak in English. John Pritchard said:

"During this time I requested several times, that the FAW, which represents football throughout the whole of Wales communicate through the medium of Welsh. My request was turned down more than once; with the decision to refuse according to the replies, made by the Secretary General, who despite having an important sounding job title is still an employee of the Association and I doubt, has the power to rule on such a significant issue."

John Pritchard strongly believes that he was discriminated against by the Football Association of Wales on account of being refused to communicate in any form with the FAW through his own language, in his own country.

He requested a guarantee from the FAW that they were willing to discuss adopting a full bi-lingual policy, but received no further reply from the FAW. He has therefore sent a complaint to the Legal Department at FIFA. He believes that the FAW have broken FIFA Statutes 3 which states:

"Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or groups of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion."

And statutes 8.2 which states:

"It is the responsibility of each member association to translate into the language of their own country"

As well as gaining the support of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, John Pritchard has also gained the support of Hywel Williams MP, and local Assembly Member Alun Ffred Jones, who will be writing to FIFA on his behalf. Catrin Dafydd, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith's New Welsh language Act campaign said:

"This is a perfect example of the need for a new Welsh Language Act. An act that would make the Welsh language an official language in Wales. An act that would create a Commissioner to regulate such matters. An act that would give all Welsh people Welsh language rights."

Cymdeithas yr Iaith have also received many complaints from its members regarding the FAW's non-existence bi-lingual policy, and their English only website. We fully support John Pritchard, and will be contacting our members, urging them to complain to the FAW and FIFA regarding the matter.
Please use the following email addresses to lodge your complaint:


Or write to: FAW, 11 / 12 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff, CF24 5PJ

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