[World Cup 2022] Wales National Team: 91% White, majority with firm Wales ties; thoughts Welsh nationalism and the World Cup


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See also the other World Cup 2022 demographics analyses:
Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA, Wales.

Jump to comments

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This is a study of the demographics and personal-origins of the players on Wales national team at World Cup 2022. Following the findings is a related discussion on the status of Welsh nationalism.

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The aggregate racial-national ancestry for the WALES National Team’s World Cup 2022 squad (full 26-man roster) is:

  • 91% White [23.625 / 26],
  • 7% Black [1.75 / 26],
    — via Ben Cabango, Ethan Ampadu, Sorba Thomas, and Brennan Johnson.
  • 2% East-Asian [0.625 / 26]
    — via Rubin Colwill and Kieffer Moore.
(credit to artist Mike Guilfoyle.)

— Of the total 26-man roster: Twenty are full-White-European (77% of team) with a large-majority of this British Isles origin.

— Of the twenty full-White players, around fifteen have definite and strong ties to Wales (58% of team).

— Of the fifteen full-White players with strong Wales ties, around five are said to be strong or even ‘fluent’ Welsh speakers (20%).

— On the other end, five of the White players have quite weak personal ties to Wales and are on the team only via a parent or grandparent.

(via @Cymru.)

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FIFA World Ranking of Wales as of the start-date of World Cup 2022:

19th / 211 world national-teams

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Final ranking achieved by Wales at the 2022 World Cup tournament:

30th / 32 national-teams in World Cup

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GOALKEEPERS: 3 / 3 White

Wayne Hennessey: White. Strong ties to Wales. The starting goalkeeper throughout the tournament.

Danny Ward: White, born and raised in Wales.

Adam Davies: White. Said to be born in Germany to British parents with ties to Wales.

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DEFENDERS: 9 players. 0.75 Black (8%), 8.25 White (most of that with firm Wales ties)

Ben Davies: White. Said to be a fluent Welsh speaker and addressed a World Cup press conference that aired on the BBC in Welsh. Has spent significant time in Denmark.

Joe Rodon: White. Came up with Swansea City football club of Wales. Several sports players in family, including professional footballer grandfather active in the 1960s.

Ben Cabango: half-Black, half-White. Father is from Angola, mother White with ties to Wales. Father Paulo Cabango showed up in the UK in 1997 soon after the new government of Tony Blair people lifted immigration-limits. Three years later, year 2000, a White woman gave birth to the Angloan immigrant’s baby. (See photo of the parents of Ben Cabango.) As a boy, Ben Cabango came up through the Welsh football-club Swansea’s youth program.

Chris Mepham: White. Really a product of Greater London by birth and upbringing, ties to Wales unclear.

Chris Gunter: White. Ties to Wales strong; came up with Cardiff City football club.

Connor Roberts: White. Ties to Wales strong; came up with Swansea City football club.

Neco Williams: White. Although born in Wales, spent most of his life with the Liverpool football club (involved from age 8 to 21). (See photo of Neco Williams with parents when he signed a Liverpool pro contract when he turned 18.)

Ethan Ampadu: one-quarter-Subsaharan, three-quarters White British Isles ancestry. His father was half-Black football player Kwame Ampadu (b.1970), the son of a Ghanaian and a White Irish woman. (See photo of parents of Ethan Ampadu in Ethan’s youth.) Ethan Ampadu spent all his life in England but his mother’s family-tie to Wales let him on the “national team.”

Tom Lockyer: White. Firm personal ties to Wales; came up with the Cardiff City youth-development system.

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MIDFIELDERS: 9 players. ca. 8.0 White, 0.5 Black, ca. 0.5 East Asian?

Aaron Ramsey: White. Strong Wales ties, including coming up with the Cardiff City youth system.

Joe Allen: White. Strong Wales ties and speaks Welsh language. Has spent a total of about 12 years of his life with the Swansea City organization in Wales, including youth-development, early-career (to early 20s), and as of 2022 again (at age 32).

Harry Wilson: White. Personal ties to Wales are strong, but spent most of sport career from mid-childhood in Liverpool.

Joe Morrell: White. Is actually basically English by birth and upbringing and life and pro-career, but has a Welsh mother.

Matthew Smith: White. Tied to England through own life and parents’ lives, but grandfather is Welsh.

Dylan Levitt: White. Strong ties to Wales, but at some point in teenage years became part of the Manchester United system in England.

Sorba Thomas: “Born in England, Thomas was born to a Sierra Leonean father and Welsh mother.” (See photo of Sorba Thomas looking rather like an Arab.) Half-Black, half-White.

Rubin Colwill: Apparently has partial non-European ancestry. Though it looks like the non-European comes from eastern Asia, someone on Twitter suggests the non-European ancestry is from South Asia with an ancestral language of Urdu. (See pics of Rubin Colwill showing him looking distinctly “Hapa” [White-European + East-Asian].)

Jonny Williams: White. He is another of the players born and raised in England but who has a Welsh parent.

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FORWARDS: 5 players. 4.375 White-European, 0.125 Chinese, 0.5 Black

Gareth Bale: White. Strong ties to Wales by birth and upbringing. His many years of success have made him in our time a symbol of the Welsh nation. Wales is, however, too small a pond for him and he has never played professionally for a Welsh club.

Daniel James: White. Of English birth but modestly strong ties to Wales via family (father) and early career with Swansea (to age 22).

Mark Harris: White. Strong ties to Wales including birth, upbringing, and entire pro career (to age 24).

Kieffer Moore: around seven-eighths White, with one-eighth Chinese ancestry. Partial Italian ancestry. Kieffer Moore has only tenuous ties to Wales, reported to be via one grandfather. He himself has been of England almost his whole life.

Besides the Welsh grandparent, another grandparent of Kieffer Moore’s was a “Hapa” (half -Chinese, half White), who left East Asia with parents in the “1940s.” At least one other grandparent is reportedly Italian (note, full name: Kieffer Roberto Francisco Moore). For a time, China actively tried to recruit Kieffer Moore for its “national team,” but the great-grandparent level does not qualify for eligibility. China was in talks to potentially put him on a path to PRC-citizenship, with sacks-full of unmarked cash reportedly to accompany the citizenship papers. This was when he was age 26, 27 (late 2010s), but it fell through and he stuck with Wales. One is tempted to see, in Kieffer Moore’s face, evidence of the one-eighth Chinese ancestry.

Brennan Johnson: Half-Black, half-White. Father a Jamaican immigrant in England who became a pro player. (See pic of Brennan Johnson’s parents.) Weak ties to Wales. He has spent his whole career so far with the same club in England that his Black-Jamaican father played for, which means his real identity is more tied to pro sports than to a nation, especially the nation of Wales in which he has never lived.

MANAGER:
Rob Page: White, strong ties to Wales, formerly with various Wales national teams over 14 years in the 1990s and 2000s.

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The ethno-national and ethno-cultural situation in Wale, national team as symbol of Welsh nationalism

That Wales qualified at all for the World Cup in its competitive European regional qualifying league is a major triumph for the small nation of 3 million. The run-up to World Cup qualification was a rallying-point for Wales nationalism or at least regionalist-identity patriotism.

On the political scene, Wales nationalism was previously well represented by the Plaid Cymru political party, which has controlled 10-15% of the vote in Wales between 1970 and 2022 in UK House of Commons elections and double that in local elections. By the 1990s and especially 2000s, they had enough influence to firm-up language policy, and have succeeded in shoring up the threatened Welsh language. With the Scottish independence referendum of 2014 and then the Brexit controversy in the late 2010s, new breaths of life came into Wales nationalism, even if no one ever seriously considered a totally-impractical split from England.

The amazing Wales international-football ‘run’ in 2021 and 2022, qualifying for the World Cup over serious competition in Europe (and knocking out Ukraine in the final qualifying match) can only be said to be another rallying point for Welsh patriots and Wales nationalism and ‘nation-building,’ identity construction.

Much of the above was on display to the viewer of Wales’ opening-match against the highly-racially-mixed and largely-‘denationalized’ USA team. There was a palpable difference in atmosphere and attitude in the stadium. Thousands of Wales fans filled the stadium and really dominated the match with the cheers and songs. They belted out their national anthem in an eerily loud tone, filling the night sky in Qatar. The players, most of whom are tied closely to Wales, all sang loudly. The USA team was subdued and for many of the members the Star-Spangled Banner national anthem means little, if anything (having never even lived in the USA). With Wales, it was twenty thousand hearts beating as one.

The Wales team’s comparative strong-homogeneity and its fans expressing their nationalism was notable when contrasted with the USA’s non-homogeneity, and in a battle of ‘nationalisms’ and national-pride, Wales frankly won hands-down. The match ended in a 1-1 draw, seen as a big disappointment for the USA, being (for one thing) that the USA had a resident population over 100x as large was Wales.

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National Team 2022 demographics versus Wales resident-population demographics

The Wales population today is:

White: 2,915,000, of which:

  • up to 1,750,000 consider themselves Welsh [55-60% of total population], with about half being intermediate speakers of Welsh or higher — a number substantially firmed up by language-revival efforts of past twenty-five years; and
  • ca. 1,100,000 are non-Welsh White-British [35-40% of total population] — this mostly being English people living in Wales and not identifying as ethnic-cultural “Welsh” at all.
  • 65,000 Other White, not of British Isles origin [2%]

Non-White: 185,000 non-European foreign-origin, including mixed [now near 6%] [in 2001: 2%].

  • 30,000 South Asian Muslim
  • 20,000 South Asian Hindu or other non-Muslim
  • up to 20,000 East Asian, primarily Chinese [0.5%+]
  • 40,000 Black or part-Black [1.3%]
  • 40,000 Other non-European or unclear

Wales today is, by Western standards, (still) almost describable as a near-ethnostate, especially outside the primary population centers where the non-Europeans are concentrated. Census reports suggest that the capital, Cardiff, may have above 60,000 non-whites of foreign origin, which is ca. 33% of all non-Europeans population in Wales. Cardiff’s 275,000 White-British are only 9% of the White-British total population in Wales.

In most of Wales, which has a land area comparable to (the U.S. state of) New Hampshire, the population is today 97-100% White and in substantial parts the White population has a dominant “Welsh” ethnocultural identity, partly the result at revival efforts over the past decades. Part of the fruits of this movement, Welsh nationalism, was on full display in the World Cup match against the overtly multi-racial, multi-national, de-nationalized USA team.

In summary, the chosen Wales-2022 World Cup team basically did reflect the Wales population, except with a 10x overrepresentation by Blacks. Persons with Subsaharan ancestry are only 1.3% of the Wales-resident population whereas they some 15% of the team [4 of 26 players] has partial Black ancestry.

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See also:
Europe’s national teams a World Cup 2018, by racial ancestry

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8 Responses to [World Cup 2022] Wales National Team: 91% White, majority with firm Wales ties; thoughts Welsh nationalism and the World Cup

  1. russedav15 says:

    It amazes me how easy it is to brainwash the world into buying incredibly delusional lies. The simple scientific fact is that there are no “black” or “white” people on earth, all being melanin BROWN. There are also no raceS, plural, being as all are of ONE RACE, singular, the human race. It’s like the grossly corrupt, anti-science, lie that a baby is ever part of a woman’s body versus the reality that the kid has a different DNA (and sometimes even a different blood type). Any other view is laughably ignorant, pretentious bigotry, & those holding it belong in an asylum, sadly the vast majority of the world, as if the majority (or “consensus”) ever determined truth, i.e. the old argumentum ad baculum=argument from authority logical fallacy that still enslaves today’s fools as happened with the Covid 19 fraud. In days gone by when folk were literate and educated, unlike today, they knew the Bible, God’s Word, tells us God brought forth Eve from Adam, and the rest of the human race from Adam and Eve, and from Noah after the Flood. There’s no intelligent or even rational contrary view, the only thing keeping the opposition going being deranged misotheism, one element in Trump Derangement Syndrome. Only God can save us, Russ

  2. In most of Wales, which has a land area comparable to (the U.S. state of) New Hampshire, the population is today 97-100% White and in substantial parts the White population has a dominant “Welsh” ethnocultural identity,…”

    That’s my bolding, Mr. Hail. Coincidentally, shortly before you published this post, The Unz Review had this article, by one Tobias Langdon, at the top:Wasting Wales: Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru Have a Virtuous Vision of National Negation. I saw the picture and skimmed the top – too depressing to read.

    If you were to end up in the quaint little town of Holyhead on the west coast of Wales in the middle of the summer, as we did, you might be tempted to check real estate prices and imagine a life there. But, NO, they can’t leave ANY single White place alone, even one the size of New Hampshire, 1 seven thousandth (0.014%) of the world’s land.

    OK, well, though I don’t care for the game, I hope you enjoy the ’22 World Cup matches, Mr. Hail.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Hail says:

      It sounds like your view is similar to the satirical view of the sport presented by the Simpsons ca.1997:

      For me, the international political tie-ins, and themes related to nationalism and communalism and identity-formation, identity-expression, and cultural trends are too interesting and compelling not to give attention to. See, e.g., some of the follow-up comments to the USA World Cup team demographics and comparisons with 1990s-era US “national teams” on this symbolic international ‘stage.’

      • Oh, man, that one hit the spot, Mr. Hail! It does hit almost all of my points against the game. This one should have been on my post, dang it.

        I do completely understand your political tie-ins and theme.

  3. Hail says:

    Thank you to Mr. Newman (the a.k.a. of the Peak Stupidity blogger-in-chief), for the link to the Welsh politics article by Tobias Langdon.

    Some comments of interest:

    An anonymous Welshman writes:

    “I’m from Wales and I didn’t see a black man until I was 12. It is astonishing to me to see how multiculturalism has spread over Wales in my lifetime.

    The Welsh have always been more left wing than the English and today the only resistance to Wokeness comes from the Welsh in West Wales. The others are totally brainwashed. I used to go on messageboards to gauge the thoughts of the ordinary person but I found it too depressing. It was just a virtue signalling competition. Any posts opposing Wokeness are blocked. This is especially bad on football messageboards. The left seem to have gatekeepers on all these sites.

    You would expect the Plaid Cymru – a party that says it stands for Welsh independence and Welsh culture – to be anti-Woke and anti-immigration but they are even further left of the socialist party on these issues.”

  4. Hail says:

    YenAnotherAnon writes:

    “You might be interested in this BBC piece on teaching “Welsh” children – more precisely children living in Wales – the nationalist song “Yma O Hyd” – “We’re Still Here” in rough translation, which has become a Welsh World Cup anthem.”

    He links to a BBC article dated Nov. 10,2022, which shows this:

    (The chosen ‘thumbnail’ version of the video shows Black, Muslim, and South Asian children singing the Welsh national anthem. However, the full video does also show White children. Why select the default view as the Migrants?)

    Someone writing under the name ‘S’ writes:

    “The Welsh nationalist song lyrics above are remindful of those of the Polish national anthem. Ukraine’s anthem has similar lines as well. These are all countries that experienced some existential trauma, so it makes sense.”

    Given that the acquisition of the island of Great Britain by Germanic forces (a ‘trauma’) from Celtic forces about 1500 years ago, this seems to me, as an outsider, as a semi-constructed grievance. A fringe of the Celtic culture that predated the Saxons survived on the British Isles margins, but this is indeed “ancient history.”

    Wales itself has been tightly tied to England in every meaningful way since the Middle Ages. A similar story is repeated everywhere in the world. France was once chock-full of regional languages, too. Not so long ago only a minority speaking standard Paris-French.

    The commenters (including the anonymous Welshman quoted previously) are right in their observation- and experience-based comments about these kinds of nationalisms, namely that they tied themselves in other grievance-base forces on the scene. An opportunistic alliance of complex origin, but not at all defined at its core by ‘Wokeness’ that nestled into the same political spaces.

    YenAnotherAnon further writes:

    “Two points – one is that Dafydd Iwan, whether he likes it or not, is whistling in the dark – the displacement of the Welsh, already considerable, has accelerated in the last few decades as wealthy English have bought up every other seaside house in the Lleyn Peninsula and Pembrokeshire/Cardiganshire – and as Asians and Africans have moved to the cheap housing of the capital and the valleys. Just look at the first class shown as singing the song – I think there might be one white child in a sea of Indian and African faces. Even the Valleys school featured has them.

    Not so very long ago, the only black faces you would see in say Swansea were African university students or the odd imported Glamorgan cricketer.

    The second point is that Welsh education, which at least tries to instil pride in the historic Welsh nation and its history, is not the education of the majority of British children, who live in England. […]

    Welsh, Scottish, Irish historical education will inevitably show the home nation in opposition to the powerful English neighbour.”

  5. Pingback: [World Cup 2022] England national team, racial-national ancestry demographics — 79% White, 21% Black, no Muslims | Hail To You

  6. Pingback: [World Cup 2022] U.S. Men’s National Team racial-national-ancestral origins and demographics | Hail To You

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