I understand that the country's basic language is French, but you don't see any other countries using non-English names in the World Cup. Japan isn't called "Nihon" or "Nippon", Germany isn't called "Deutschland", etc.

So just out of curiosity, why is Ivory Coast being referred to as "Côte d'Ivoire" by various sources for the World Cup, but no other country is being referred to like that?


The answer is actually quite simple here.

Côte d'Ivoire prefers to be referred to this way. Here's Wikipedia:

Therefore, in April 1986, the government declared Côte d'Ivoire (or, more fully, République de Côte d'Ivoire) to be its formal name for the purposes of diplomatic protocol, and officially refuses to recognize or accept any translation from French to another language in its international dealings.

In other words, they're Côte d'Ivoire, not Ivory Coast, because they say so.

  • 1
    French being one of FIFA's official languages doesn't hurt, probably. Jun 24 '14 at 22:11
  • 2
    @JörgWMittag its true, but as the OP pointed out, we use the anglo names of every other country at the event (at least here in the states).
    – wax eagle
    Jun 24 '14 at 22:54
  • 3
    Doesn't really relate to FIFA -- it was an official request by the government for all references (not just sports).
    – Voodoo
    Jun 24 '14 at 23:07
  • What might related to FIFA though, is when and why they started respecting this request, if it wasn't April 1986. Here in the UK, the BBC calls them "Ivory Coast" and ITV calls them "Côte d'Ivoire" as far as they can, but don't always remember. Jun 25 '14 at 11:16

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