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Czech Republic to change name to 'Czechia' to boost commercial potential ahead of Rio Olympics

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By Tony Connelly, Sports Marketing Reporter

April 15, 2016 | 2 min read

The Czech Republic is moving to rebrand itself to "Czechia" in order to increase its commercial potential ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.

Prague

In a joint statement released this week, the president, prime minister and other senior officials revealed that they will ask the UN to update its database of geographical names with the new title before Olympic Games begin on 5 August.

“We recommend using the single-word name in foreign languages in situations when it’s not necessary to use the country’s formal name: sports events, marketing purposes etc,” the statement said.

The country’s foreign minister Lubomir Zaoralek said the move is attempting to address the “distortions and misspellings” which have occurred in the past.

The rebranding effort would make it easier for the country to have its name branded across sports teams and commercial properties and the single word is intended to be easier to say with just three syllables: Czechia.

Czechia would be the official short geographic name, similar to how 'France' is used to refer to 'The French Republic'.

The new name proposal has not received widespread support from the country’s politicians. On Thursday the regional development minister Karla Slechtova tweeted: “I disagree with the name ‘Czechia’, I don’t want people to confuse our country with Chechnya.”

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