No Eisteddfod honour for Wales Euro 2016 football team

Wales team thanks fans at the end of the tournament Image copyright PA

The Wales football team's Euro 2016 success will not be honoured at the Eisteddfod because the Gorsedd's Welsh language rules will not be changed to allow it.

There had been calls for the players and manager Chris Coleman to be honoured by Gorsedd y Beirdd after they reached the tournament's semi finals.

But Gorsedd boss Archdruid Geraint Lloyd Owen rejected it.

He said it was because some do not speak Welsh and standards must be kept.

"If they can't speak Welsh I don't see how we can welcome them in [Gorsedd], because Welsh is the biggest, strongest weapon we have as a nation and without it, we have nothing," the former Caernarfon Town FC chairman added.

He said he could not think of any non-Welsh speaker other than the Queen to have received the honour.

"I'm not an inflammatory sort of person, and I don't thrive on controversy," he said.

"I'm just going to take the role of being Archdruid as it comes. I'll try to be myself, but you'll never please everyone."

He also raised questions over the Gorsedd, which is a separate organisation to the Eisteddfod, honouring people for their performance in jobs they are paid to do.

"It would be much better to reward those quiet people who work for their rural communities or wherever, and taken the burden to make sure things go on, and Welsh is used in the community."


An Eisteddfod spokeswoman said they were "very proud" of the Wales team, and had invited them to come to this year's event.

She added that the Gorsedd is a separate organisation to the Eisteddfod, although the two share a close relationship.

The spokeswoman said: "Like everyone and everything else, the Gorsedd has its rules and only Gorsedd members have the right to nominate or second individuals to be honoured, and of course, it is essential that the person nominated speaks Welsh.

"The process for this year's nominations closed at the end of February.

"No member of the Welsh football team were nominated for the Gorsedd and no member of the team was refused the honour."

The Eisteddfod takes place from Friday at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, until 6 August.

  • A Welsh language version of the story is available here.

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