Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Naming convention for sports teams

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  • PURPOSE: To arrive at a consensus on the issue of Naming Convention for Sports Teams
Step 1 - summary of current policy
Step 2 - discussion and criticism of flaws
Step 3 - concrete recommendations for improvement
Step 4 - formulation of the Naming Convention for Sports Teams based on the consensus arrived
  1. To address back-and-forth "move" requests
  2. To provide clarification for editors
  3. To establish Wikipedia based consensus for sports teams
  4. Other...

STEP 1 - summary of current "policy"

This is the English language Wikipedia so generally the regular English name should be used. For example, use Bayern Munich rather than FC Bayern München, Red Star Belgrade rather than Crvena Zvezda and so on. Note the English name is not always the 'authentic' name used on the club crest and so on. For example, Sporting Clube de Portugal are always called Sporting Lisbon in the English-speaking world.

Note: As was pointed out by Prolog (talk · contribs), this "policy" was added single-handedly without explanation, four months ago; see here.--Riurik(discuss) 05:18, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

A totally meaningless "policy"... Nothing more than a tool to be used selectively, for example against clubs from Eastern Europe (typically). The above rule says "For example, Sporting Clube de Portugal are always called Sporting Lisbon in the English-speaking world." Of course if you go to Sporting Clube de Portugal you will see that the article is called exactly that way (and not "Sporting Lisbon"). Of course there's a reference to a commonly used name inside the article but not in the title (in the same way as one would call an article "British Airways" even though hardly anyone calls it that way in the real world, almost everyone says "BA"). I would challenge the wandering admin who moved "FC Arsenal Kyiv" to "FC Arsenal Kiev" to try and move "Sporting Clube de Portugal" to "Sporting Lisbon" and see what happens! Dkua (talk) 00:41, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

STEP 2 - discussion and criticism (for previous debates, see Dynamo's talk page, Arsenal's talk page, WPFootball discussion, and others. (Warning: If discussing the Kyiv/Kiev entries, this discussion is restricted to the NC sports teams, and is not about the name of Ukraine' capital).--Riurik(discuss) 07:24, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Here is my take on the issue. Dynamo Kyiv and Arsenal Kyiv were recently moved after a thorough discussion among editors, with the prevailing opinion going for keeping both. Yet, hiding behind the above mentioned "policy", these football club entries were moved. I think this was unwarranted for at least three reasons:
  1. the official name is FC Dynamo Kyiv (for example, ESPN coverage of recent Manchester United vs Dynamo Kyiv utilized the name of the club in English as used on the team's English website),
  2. the name of sports clubs and organizations, particularly those utilizing Kyiv are brands and property of their respective owners, utilizing a different version breaches ownership rights,
  3. English speaking fans visiting an official website of their favorite team, will find out that contrary to Wikipedia - which currently uses FC Dynamo Kiev - their team's official full name is FC Dynamo Kyiv.--Riurik(discuss) 07:24, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
  4. And also in the emlem of Dynamo we can see the word KYIV.--Ahonc (Talk) Flag of Ukraine.svg 12:38, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

PeeJay's suggestion[edit]

Right, here's my proposal for this issue. I suggest that if the club's official website has an English language version, we should entitle any Wikipedia articles about that club using whatever name is used on the English version of their website. In the event that the club does not have an English language website, we should use the name that the club goes by most commonly in other English language media. Under this proposal, the article that is currently at FC Dynamo Kiev would be located at FC Dynamo Kyiv and FC Bayern Munich would remain where it is, as would FC Steaua Bucureşti, while FC Red Star Belgrade would be at FC Red Star or Red Star Belgrade. For the sake of consistency, in the case of FC Arsenal Kyiv, that article should be located at FC Arsenal Kyiv, per FC Dynamo Kyiv. - PeeJay 09:39, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

But what if the club has no English version for their website? I'd say instead to use the English name only when you can clearly prove its usage is favored by a large majority of English-language reliable sources (e.g. BBC, CNN, FIFA and UEFA English-language websites...). --Angelo 14:18, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Like I said, in the event that the club does not have an English version for their website, then we should resort to the name that is used most in the media. It's all well and good saying that we should use the name that most people know the club by, but so many people use Wikipedia as a primary resource these days, surely we should first be aiming to get things right, rather than pandering to the ignorant masses. - PeeJay 15:15, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I am concerned about the possibility a non-English club might prefer their local name to the English equivalent, despite a massive major English media usage of the latter. For instance, FC Steaua's website prefers to use "Steaua Bucuresti" even in their (few) English pages, nevertheless a large majority of English sources use Steaua Bucharest instead. --Angelo 15:24, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I know this isn't a very good measure, but a quick google search for "Steaua Bucharest" returned 410,000 ghits, while "Steaua Bucuresti" returned 1,200,000 ghits. Furthermore, a quick look at Google News reveals that ESPN, and all seem to prefer "Steaua Bucuresti". - PeeJay 15:58, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
The Google-based measure tells me of a 224,000 hits for "Steaua Bucharest" [1] against 147,000 for "Steaua Bucuresti" [2], probably because you forgot to force English as search language. Google News (in English) features 333 hits for "Steaua Bucharest" [3] and 47 for "Steaua Bucuresti" [4]. --Angelo 16:41, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why one should be concerned about a non-English club prefering their local name. It has been done a number of times in the past, e.g. IFK Göteborg from Gothenburg, Club Brugge K.V. from Bruges, Sevilla FC from Seville, Torino F.C. from Turin, A.S. Roma from Rome etc. Dkua 22:45, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
The problem is when clubs prefer to use their local name in English pages against a massive media coverage doing differently. All the club you mentioned are cited by both clubs and English media using their local name. This is not FC Steaua's case, for instance. --Angelo 22:50, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
You have to ask yourself a question: have the media come to call the clubs the way the clubs call themselves, or was it the other way around? Do Sevilla FC call themselves that way because English-speaking media have forced them to adopt a Spanish name, or was it the English-speaking media that adopted the club's official name? Media is not something impresonal, it's the people working there: they graduated in either the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s or 2000s, are slow or quick to embrace change, proactive or waiting for their bosses to tell them what to do, well-travelled or spending their time in a library etc etc. Believe it or not, it is still not uncommon to see Dynamo Kyiv being referred to as a "Russian" club in mainstream English-speaking media, almost 20 years since the dissolution of the USSR. Clearly nobody called the club Dynamo Kyiv util it changed their name from Dynamo Kiev in the 90s, but look around now and you will see CNN, The Guardian, UEFA official site, The Herald, Canadian Press, Manchester United official site having noticed the change. Dkua 23:49, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
But again, what if the media fail or refuse to adopt the official name? That's why I'm saying to use the name most frequently used by the media instead of the name directly used by the club itself. --Angelo 08:49, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Didn't I answer it above? The media don't fail or refuse to adopt the official name, but they don't do it at once either (in the same way as it took a while for most media to stop calling Dynamo Kyiv a "Russian" club). As I mentioned, in the early 90s nobody called Dynamo Kyiv that way because the club had just been renamed. Now there are 0.5 million "Dynamo Kyiv" hits in Google [5] and 1.5 million "Dynamo Kiev" hits [6] hence the gap has shortened substantially. Dkua (talk) 00:41, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
You still seem to be under the impression that "Dynamo Kiev" was once the name of the club, it wasn't; "Dinamo Kiev" was the name of the club before the Soviet Union broke up, and "Dynamo Kyiv" has been the name of the club since the Soviet Union broke up. The club has never been called "Dynamo Kiev". - MTC (talk) 07:28, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Number 57's suggestion[edit]

My suggestion is quite simple: Use the team's prefix/suffix together with the English name of the city (as determined on those article pages). This results in combinations (which are different in the local language) such as:

  • Austria: Rapid Vienna
  • Czech Republic: Slavia/Sparta Prague
  • Denmark: FC Copehnagen
  • Germany: Bayern Munich, FC Cologne, FC Nuremburg
  • Poland: Legia Warsaw
  • Portugal: Sporting Lisbon
  • Romania: Steaua/Dinamo/Rapid Bucharest
  • Russia: CSKA/FC/Lokomotiv/Spartak/Torpedo Moscow
  • Serbia: Red Star Belgrade
  • Ukraine: Dynamo Kiev etc

However, I would exclude one country from this (Italy) as it seems to be the one country where the teams are known only by their local names (e.g. SSC Napoli, AS Roma) and never by the English equivalent (Naples, Rome). Nevertheless, I'm sure someone will find other exceptions with which to blow me out of the water :) пﮟოьεԻ 57 16:33, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

  • FK Crvena Zvezda does not include the city name, so randomly adding "Belgrade" at the end is aganist your own convention, do you intend to rename Arsenal F.C. to "Arsenal London"? Nor is "Red Star" the team's prefix.
  • Sporting Club de Portugal doesn't include a city name either, so "Sporting Lisbon" is also just as bad as "Arsenal London".
  • 1. FC Nürnberg has the prefix "1. FC", so again you are going against your own convention to call them "FC Nuremburg". Also, I have never seen the club referred to as Nuremburg anywhere.
Those are just some of the things that are wrong with your suggestion. - MTC 06:23, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I think I just chose two bad examples, as in the first two cases you mention, although the city name is not actually part of the club's name, they are commonly used as such in English (may be wrong, but there we go). As for Nuremburg, I just forgot the 1. пﮟოьεԻ 57 09:06, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Personally I see a major flaw in this idea FC Dynamo Kyiv and FC Arsenal Kyiv are registered clubs, or organisations. It is their name. FC Dynamo Kyiv is not an implication of "Football Club Dynamo from Kyiv", it's simply a full name of the organisation, and the same applies for Arsenal Kyiv. Also they are correct translation of club names used by themselves and official bodies like UEFA, just because an incompetent reporter from Sky Sports or a cheep tabloid like The Sun incorrectly wrote clubs names it doesn't mean that Wikipedia has to continue it. Wikipedia is about giving correct information.--MaksKhomenko 13:01, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
If the Sun (which is the biggest selling newspaper in the UK) uses a certain spelling (and one which is not incorrect - this depends on your viewpoint), then its use is fully justified under WP:COMMONNAME. пﮟოьεԻ 57 13:13, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Than in my opinion this specific policy WP:COMMONNAME should also be put in question. The Sun is not a reliable resource, and is often regarded as an example of Yellow journalism, many articles are written from a specific view point and are not neutral. Their sales figures justify their price but not the validity of the information published. --MaksKhomenko 13:50, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
The name of an article should not be the 'correct' name! it should be the WP:COMMONNAME this is to ensure that the majority of English speakers can find it quickly. In the article space it should then go on to discus such things as correct and official titles. The rational behind this is explained behind in WP:COMMONNAME. GameKeeper (talk) 00:46, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I would just point out that, as stated in Wikipedia:Naming conventions, WP:COMMONNAME should not be used when other naming conventions might apply. I think the policies under Wikipedia:Naming conventions on either companies or organizations (and perhaps others) are more applicable. I am also unsure that a sporting club falls under the category of a "person" or "thing" (the latter, based on the context, seems to be mean "object", however vague the actual word might be). --SesameballTalk 23:14, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Angelo's proposal[edit]

Wikipedia is not a primary source, and it should therefore feature non-original article titles. Notably, WP:COMMONNAME suggests to "use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things". Additionally, self-published sources are largely contested to be reliable, as noted in WP:SPS. I therefore propose to solve the naming convention issue here suggesting two simple but elastic principles:

  • If a sports team is known to be referred with two or more different names (including the original local name), use the one which is most frequently used by reliable English-language media; to find out which one, Google News is a possible valid approach.
  • If no name appears to be used much more frequently than others, use the local name.

A couple of comparisons:

  • Sevilla FC 87 - 4 Seville FC: [7] [8]
  • Steaua Bucharest 290 - 46 Steaua Bucuresti: [9] [10]

Feel free to express your doubts and thoughts. --Angelo 09:51, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I'd support this, as long as it is defined which source we use, as people try to use all kinds of different searches (English pages only, UK pages only etc) to defend their particular viewpoint. Google news is a very good suggestion though, and if this was the defined source, I would give this plan my full backing. пﮟოьεԻ 57 11:48, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I would also support this. It seems consistent with other wikipedia naming conventions and avoids the problems inherent with 'Official names'. I don't think we need to explicitly say use google news, although I agree it is a good source. If google news does not match another english media wide scan of 'the news' that should be enough for some debate to ensue. My only issue is with the statement 'If no name appears to be used much more frequently than others, use the local name.' , if the local name is not one of the frequently used names, it should not be used. The name should always be a frequently used name. GameKeeper 15:10, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
You're possibly right. But if one of the names is the local one, this should be privileged against all others. ---- Angelo (talk) 16:59, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes I would agree with that. -- GameKeeper (talk) 19:59, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
You refer to WP:COMMONNAME... Follow the link - it says those guidelines are "...not set in stone and should be treated with common sense", "...Do not overdo it", "...some terms are in common usage but are commonly regarded as offensive to large groups of people... In those cases use widely known alternatives" etc. Also see Wikipedia:Manual of Style: "Identity... Use terminology that subjects use for themselves (self-identification) whenever this is possible. Use terms that a person uses for himself or herself, or terms that a group most commonly uses for itself..." From that perspective when an England-based "admin" wanders around, stumbles across FC Arsenal Kyiv, starts a survey to move it to a name he finds more acceptable (Talk:FC Arsenal Kiev), is totally outvoted by the local editors by 13:2 but still moves the article... From the perspective of the guidelines I think the term "admin-sponsored vandalism" would be an appropriate description of such actions. Dkua (talk) 00:41, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I totally agree that we should avoid offence, but I fail to see any arguement on that basis within Talk:FC Arsenal Kiev, perhaps if one was made the move would have been avoided. You cannot expect an admin to see something that has not been brought to their attention. Also see WP:ISNOT#Wikipedia_is_not_a_democracy we don't decide things on the basis of votes alone, you need a strong argument. I would be interested if you can explain the offence. GameKeeper (talk) 02:13, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Was not the argument stronger for FC Arsenal Kyiv rather than FC Arsenal Kiev? I agree it's not about the voting, but 13 to 2 editors were swayed by the argument of keeping FC Arsenal Kyiv. Sure that can still be called a proxy for vote instead of a stronger argument, but note how the opinion was not divided or lacking consensus. Further more, if I did the google search conditions properly (please verify), arsenal kiev has 786 hits vs arsenal kyiv which has 15,400. Voting aside, is this not the stronger case for Arsenal Kyiv?--Riurik(discuss) 04:16, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Arsenal Kyiv's Google hits are actually 951, you should at least force English as the search language: [11]. The Google News test don't work that good for this particular case, as Arsenal Kiev/Kyiv is not particularly debated by the English-language media, with only a hit for Arsenal Kyiv (The Herald [12]), and no hits at all for Arsenal Kiev. uses Arsenal Kyiv as well, so there would be a short majority in support for the local name according to my proposal. --Angelo (talk) 06:40, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes and I would agree with 'Arsenal Kyiv' as the correct title if this new proposal was accepted too. Its a pity no-one pointed out the google hits point in the discussion at the talk page. I don't think the argument was made very strongly as most people there referred to an already 'lost' discussion on 'Dynamo Kiev', if anything that probably strengthened the support case. GameKeeper (talk) 23:15, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I just ran the Google hits tests myself and found Arsenal Kiev to be more common usage. You have accidentally included both 'soccer' and 'football' as 'AND'ed conditions meaning both must be there in your search. This has removed much of the UK press. When you remove these the bias is heavily in support of 'Arsenal Kiev'. Try using "Arsenal Kiev'" -wikipedia instead on an English search. GameKeeper (talk) 00:58, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
A simple "Arsenal Kiev" query includes results which are completely unrelated to the football team, such as this. In fact if you include football (and not soccer) into the query, Arsenal Kyiv returns again more hits. That's why I was proposing to run searches limited solely to reliable and popular English-language media. --Angelo (talk) 01:18, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree that 'reliable and popular English-language media.' is better than google hits. I seem to encouter some problems with google news searches. This for instance this is meant to find all articles with the EXACT phrase 'arsenal kiev' but it doesn't, it returns lots of results that mention Kiev and Arsenal in separate places. GameKeeper (talk) 23:18, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Re: Arsenal Kyiv move, it's a pity that no one pointed out the google hits, but it's not irreversible now, and the move was being done under a policy inserted without debate by a single editor. As far as Angelo's proposal, I'm assuming the "reliable and popular English-language media" is defined by the search engine used? Or does this phrase need to be explained further?--Riurik(discuss) 04:50, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Google News sources used to be good enough to be considered "reliable and popular", I think. In any case, creating a list of "reliable news providers" sounds excessive to me. I think nobody would argue about the notability of newsmakers such as BBC Sports,, ESPN and others. --Angelo (talk) 08:38, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
"I would be interested if you can explain the offence." I think it is rather obvious that when it comes to (European) football, deliberately misspelling the name of a club will be expected to be taken as an offence, as it is largely about identity and passion. If someone called Tottenham Hotspur "Tottenham Hot Spurs" it would clearly be offensive to the fans, wouldn't it? The same about Dynamo Kyiv, for example. The only difference is most native English speakers are not particularly knowledgeable about clubs in Ukraine or generally Eastern Europe. It used to be "Dynamo Kiev" in the papers, and of course the authoritative The Sun also spells it that way, so many think what's the problem with those dodgy Ukrainian editors, can't they even spell it right? The fact of the matter is "Dynamo Kiev" renamed themselves "FC Dynamo Kyiv" for a reason, and that had to do with the club's history and perceptions of the fans. If this example is too distant (perhaps both geographically and culturally) for you to fully appreciate, perhaps the following one is closer to home: "Woolwich Arsenal... dropped the "Woolwich" from their name in April 1914, and although they were officially plain "Arsenal", the press at the time often referred to them as "The Arsenal" at first.[13] Chapman... insisted on journalists dropping the definite article from the club's name..." (History of Arsenal F.C. (1886–1966)). Dkua (talk) 22:57, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Outside view by User:Krator[edit]

I'll just use RFC format here, as the format above is unclear to me. This dispute-wrapped-as-policy-change seems to be nothing more than the ages old naming dispute of local versus common English names. Gdansk vs. Danzig, Kyiv vs. Kiev, etc. There's nothing wrong with policy here - summarised, it reads: use the common English name. The important part is deciding which name is the common English one. That the name of a football club is trademarked and the name of a city is not does not matter per WP:TITLE. Official names, local names and trademarked names should be disregarded, only the common English name matters. User:Krator (t c) 09:43, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

The dispute is not about the "common English name" being wrong. The current policy for sports teams is causing the renaming of organizations where they have made explicitly known what their English name is, more so, the English name has been adopted (if partially) by major news media outlets. The fans of the team who would be the target audience to read an English wikipedia entry, know the team by their official name. When someone searches for Dynamo Kyiv/Kiev their official website will introduce their Enlish name as FC Dynamo Kyiv while Wikipedia entry for that team currently says FC Dynamo Kiev. I think that is problematic, and hence the policy for NC sports teams is in need of a consensus based policy.--Riurik(discuss) 00:55, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not lead on these things and nor should it, wikipedia follows the media. It would be a major mistake to try to anticipate the introduction of a name. This would be against the very meaning of using the common name. There is no problem mentioning that the offical name is 'FC Dynamo Kyiv' on the page but the common name should be the name used commonly by the English language media ( an English google news search is a good way to find this). The reasoning behind using the common name is here. WP:COMMONNAME. This should not be different for sports clubs. GameKeeper 09:52, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

MaksKhomenko's Suggestion[edit]

The policy definitely has many flaws, not only it was created by a single user, without any consensus of anyone else but also the policy is heavily imposed on some articles, but not imposed at all on others. For instance Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama from Rio de Janeiro is by far not the most common name used in English, however the only move discussed in the talk page is from Clube de Regatas Vasco da Gama to Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama, base reason for move is "The correct club name seems to be Club de Regatas Vasco da Gama", and with total support of 4 users the move was successful. The same thing applies to every other club of Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and some like Goiás Esporte Clube are not even using English alphabet to spell the name of the club, and interestingly enough there is no single word in the talk pages disputing the name and referring to the earlier mentioned policy. Therefore in order to prevent a huge amount of arguments regarding the naming of club pages on Wikipedia in my opinion the correct translation of club's official name should be used. They can be determined by either club's name on their official web site like at Dynamo Kyiv page or by the name used by official the football governing body like UEFA or CONMEBOL. Using Google as a determining factor of most common name is a little juvenile, as 1. Google is an Internet search engine, so it only shows search results from internet, and 2 Internet is flooded with useless information, inappropriate advertisements and spam. --MaksKhomenko 13:41, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Using official names is against wikipedia policy for good reasons, see policy here WP:NC#Use_common_names_of_persons_and_things. See WP:COMMONNAME for the reasons why. I agree some of those clubs should be moved to be compliant with policy, but often the local name is the same as the English one simply because there is no standard translation of the name, so the local one is used by the english-language media. Wikipedia is a work in progress. The naming of any clubs will gradually come into line with policy. GameKeeper (talk) 23:42, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
This isn't true at all. The policy is nothing more than a tool against certain clubs. Take Internazionale Milano, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Schalke 04, Olympique Lyonnais, Club Brugge, Hamburger, 1. FC Köln, etc. These are the official names, but are they "the most regularly used English versions"? Of course not, newspapers write "Inter", "Sporting Lisbon", "Schalke", "Lyon", "Bruges", "Hamburg", "Cologne", ect. However no admin will ever dare to change "Internazionale" to "Inter", "Hamburger" to "Hamburg" or "Olympique Lyonnais" to "Lyon" because he/she will be eaten alive by the editors. Instead the policy is a tool for abuse typically against clubs from Eastern Europe - usually because of the ignorance of the admin applying the tool. The use of "standardised" English versions of club names is in fact very rare - this usually occurs because the clubs themselves have adopted those standardised names, e.g. Bayern Munich (see official site) or Red Star Belgrade (see official site). Dkua (talk) 00:36, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
"Wikipedia is a work in progress." Do let me know when a brave admin soul decides it is time to move 1. FC Köln to "FC Cologne", I promise to come and watch the show. Dkua (talk) 00:51, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
FC Köln actually gets more google news hits on an English search than "FC Cologne", so "FC Köln" seems to be the common name. I agree Internazionale Milano should be moved to Inter Milan, an admin will do this if the argument is made well enough. GameKeeper (talk) 07:56, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Inter's case is much more articulate: as you can see, Football Italia uses Inter [13], ESPN uses both Inter and Inter Milan [14], and please note prefers to use FC Internazionale Milano [15] [16]. IMHO, a possible alternative proposal is to use as unique source for football club article names. --Angelo (talk) 08:50, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I would have a problem with that - UEFA get a lot of the Israeli teams' names wrong. пﮟოьεԻ 57 09:48, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Can you please tell me why you think these names [17] are wrong? --Angelo (talk) 10:10, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
All the hyphens for a start, and the Hapoel on Bnei Sakhnin. пﮟოьεԻ 57 10:20, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Hyphens are very minor things which can be easily fixed with an appropriate guideline. Some UEFA pages refers to Bnei Sakhnin without the Hapoel [18], so I think it's just a minor error caused by lack of consistence between their pages. In any case, these are just particular cases. --Angelo (talk) 10:25, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but UEFA also uses both Kyiv and Kiev, and that particular issue is one of the main problems that has led to this mess. If we adopted the UEFA names, we would have Bayern München, going against one of the most obvious WP:COMMONNAME/WP:ENGLISH cases there is. Plus we would end up with Sparta Praha, Legia Warszawa etc etc. - it just wouldn't work. I still think that the google news search is the best option so far. пﮟოьεԻ 57 10:34, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, in this case let's decide for a single proposal, improving it all together. The discussion here is slowly dying, and all I care about is to have a firm and written guideline which addresses the issue. --Angelo (talk) 10:40, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
"FC Köln actually gets more google news hits on an English search than "FC Cologne", so "FC Köln" seems to be the common name." - Sadly, you are mistaken. The reason "FC Köln" gets almost as many hits as "FC Cologne" is because both of them are almost never used (by English-language press, that is.) The most commonly used name is simply "Cologne". Dkua (talk) 00:57, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Dkua's suggestion[edit]

The "policy" mentioned above is not a policy. It is a personal preference of one particular user, posted at Wikipedia:Naming conventions without having been discussed with anyone (see [[19]] and also [[20]]). It is not even being used by that particular user - for example, he has since edited Sporting Clube de Portugal without attempting to move it.

I propose to simply embrace what is already effectively standard practice at Wikipedia:


(1) In cases where there is no ambiguity whatsoever as to the official spelling of a club's name in English, the official name should be used.

(2) In cases where there is some ambiguity as to the official spelling of a club's name in English, the name most commonly used by the English-language media should be used (as determined using the number of hits at Google News).

(*) Tests for "no ambiguity": the club's official web site has an English-language section; and that name has been adopted at least by a section of the English-language media (UEFA or FIFA official web sites at the very minimum); and it is recognizable; and it is not easily confused with other clubs' names.

(**) Tests for "ambiguity": the club's official web site does not have an English-language section; or the name at the official site differs from that used by UEFA or FIFA official web sites; or it is not broadly recognizable; or it is easily confused with other clubs' names.


Bayern Munich, Red Star Belgrade and Spartak Moscow are correct because they are official club names and have been widely adopted in the English-language media

1. FC Köln, Club Brugge K.V. and FC Dynamo Kyiv are correct because they are official club names and have been adopted by a section of the English-language media, as well as being recognizable and not easily confused with other names

Either Olympique Lyonnais or "FC Lyon" is correct because both are used in the English-language section of the club's official site and have been adopted by a section (or most) of the English-language media Dkua (talk) 00:57, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree. If I may just make a suggestion with respect to recognizability - if BOTH UEFA and FIFA use the name, I submit it will be readily recognizable to anybody. Also, I submit that many people will not make Wikipedia their final stop in any search - therefore, if there is agreement between both UEFA and FIFA, and Wikipedia shows something different, it discredit Wikipedia.
I strongly disagree - UEFA use Bayern Munchen instead of Munich, and this is one of the most obvious cases in which the English version should be preferred. Having supported Google news in the past, I have just discovered an issue which puts me against it - it includes results from, and this distorts the picture. For instance, FC Nuremberg only gets 33 hits, against 48 for FC Nurnberg. However, accounts for 19 of the 48 for the German spelling - removing this means that the actual result is 33 against 29. пﮟოьεԻ 57 09:28, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. I don't know the intricacies of the Nuremberg case, and I don't know whether such a discussion is going on there as is going on for Dynamo Kyiv. My point is not that UEFA should be the only deciding factor, but when the media uses both, UEFA and FIFA could be arbitersHorlo (talk) 18:50, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I think in this case, the two world governing bodies should carry more weight than media or web designers. Horlo (talk) 01:57, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
I would instead say "a significant section of the English-language media". Sections can be also theorically made up by a single source in the whole world, so it's better to specify this. --Angelo (talk) 02:14, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Agree.--Riurik(discuss) 02:33, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

As I do not see opposition to this proposal, I would make it pass. To me it's a fair solution, which takes the most interesting (and appropriate) pecularities from the other proposals (including mine). So, what to do now? --Angelo (talk) 16:37, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

I object (as above) due to the effect. If UEFA is discounted from searches I would agree. пﮟოьεԻ 57 17:00, 23 November 2007 (UTC) is a reliable source to me, in fact it is used also by Google News, so it would be included in any case. --Angelo (talk) 17:13, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but UEFA does not use WP:ENGLISH, so if we used them we would have Bayern Munchen, Spartak Moskva etc. пﮟოьεԻ 57 17:37, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry about if I were you, this site alone cannot affect the outcome. Currently there are 748 articles searchable in Google News. Compare this to 7,954 articles from alone. Search for "Bayern" applying the "" filter and you will get 34 results, search without any filter and you will get 3,178 results - hence is responsible for just over 1% of the total hits. Dkua (talk) 23:31, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but as I pointed out above, it does sway the results for some of the other teams, such as FC Nuremburg. пﮟოьεԻ 57 00:10, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
However, Nuremburg's case is not ambiguous (as defined above in the proposal): it has an English website with the English name and there is a significant portion of news sources that have adopted that name as the rule prescribes. So while UEFA may swing the other way, alone it does not make or break the case.--Riurik(discuss) 06:03, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok, so while UEFA is important, on its own it cannot overrule other news sources included in Google News. Essentially, the next step is here - Wikipedia:Centralized_discussion/Conclusions. Any final comments, objections, suggestions, etc?--Riurik(discuss) 00:01, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I think the best thing about this proposal is that there is a wide range of criteria - media + news + organizations + official name + non-confusability.Horlo (talk) 18:50, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
In general i like the following proposal, however in case of dispute of the name eg. FC Dynamo Kyiv, Sporting Clube de Portugal, I believe that name used by FIFA and UEFA should be used, as those are the names that clubs are referred to in the English documentation of the official bodies.--MaksKhomenko (talk) 20:02, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Maks, under the proposal above, FIFA and UEFA will not be given preference alone. They can be included together with other measures of name usages, such as google news hits, but not alone. In the case of Dynamo Kyiv, the NC articulated above supports that name. I have not checked on the Portugese club, but the same principle would apply. Pending other last minute comments, I am going to go ahead and update the NC sports teams policy to the one as written above by Dhuka +amended by Angelo's suggestions of "significant", and arrived at by consensus. This central discussion will be linked to the policy for future reference, for example on the role of UEFA & FIFA as noted by "Number 58". Thanks to all participating parties.--Riurik(discuss) 01:22, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Sorry to sound like a cynic, but it seems to me that the conclusions have been specifically drawn up to get Dynamo Kiev moved to Dynamo Kyiv, especially due to the fact that this discussion has largely been between three Ukrainian editors who had all supported Kyiv in the past, plus Horlo, who, until recently, seemed to be a SPA to argue on the Talk:Kiev/naming dispute. Don't you think we should get some wider input from WP:Football before concluding (i.e. perhaps put the suggestions listed above to a vote)? пﮟოьεԻ 57 08:24, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Please, no name-calling. Different people just like to do things different ways. Horlo (talk) 06:53, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay, let's make an attempt. I hope these slight changes are addressing your opinions on the matter. Here is it (I just cutted a couple of words):
  • (*) Tests for "no ambiguity": the club's official web site has an English-language section; and that name has been adopted at least by a significant section of the English-language media (UEFA or FIFA official web sites at the very minimum); and it is recognizable; and it is not easily confused with other clubs' names.
  • (**) Tests for "ambiguity": the club's official web site does not have an English-language section; or the name at the official site differs from that used by UEFA or FIFA official web sites; or it is not broadly recognizable; or it is easily confused with other clubs' names.
--Angelo (talk) 14:52, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I think your 'cynicism' is not quite justified. It was very much a give-and-take solution, and the motion to pass it was made by someone without an apparent geographical bias. In fact many local editors will not be happy about it. However, it does establish some sort of common ground and is flexible enough to allow a change should a club make some progress to establishing a brand. Last but not least, the discussion that has taken place here is certainly an improvement on the way the precedent "policy" was adopted (i.e. on a whim of one particular user without any prior discussion whatsoever). I also feel the advantage of this rule is that it follows the broadly established convention (whereas the old "policy" would have required wholesale changes if anyone had actually tried to enforce it.) Dkua (talk) 01:52, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

First of all, did you noticed that? It should be reverted, right?
Although by this time I failed in adding something constructive to this discussion, I have some thoughts about the discussion itself.

  • De facto, we speak of "Naming convention for football teams from Football Europe", so I think the name of the discussion should be changed to reflect its matter.
  • It seems that all major european football clubs with potentially controversial names should be listed there, and all potentially concerned persons (e.g. participants of WP:FOOTBALL, editors of Bayern Munich, Girondins de Bordeaux, Aalborg Boldspilklub, Austria Wien, Red Star Belgrade, Hamburger SV articles) should be properly informed before making up a conclusion .

  Jhony  |  Talk   17:48, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Hello, JHONY, I don't think that it should be reverted, but should be worked on. You're right on both counts - that basically, this is about the names of European football teams, and that other possible interested parties should be notified. The more input, the better, but personally, I can't really see a better "non-ambiguity" test than the one provided here. One technical point: is it possible to set up a time limit for the formation of a policy? I can see this going on for a long time. At least with a working policy, it is possible to write, and then improve the policy when necessary. How about one week from today? Thanks, Horlo (talk) 06:53, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Hello! It seems that time limit should be set only when there are no objections. But what about mine?   Jhony  |  Talk   19:13, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Jhony, I don't appreciate your implying that I "sneaked" the policy in front of everyone when you write "did you notice that"? I explicitly and directly notified everyone involved here PRIOR to posting the NC sports teams policy (see "conclusion" section below for time stamp).
On the topic, the discussion grew out of discontent that move requests were being made and honored based on a policy inserted a couple of months ago by one user (see Dhuka's link at the beginning of this section). After carrying splintered debates on the issue, and accomplishing nothing but expression of opinions, I started a Centralized Debate and placed links at Wikipedia:Centralized discussion, WikiProject Football and the pages recently moved, since that is where this all started, and all involved parties for the move and against could arrive on a common policy. This discussion took a over a week and a # of solutions were offered. The result was Dhuka's proposal. From what I gathered and seeing no other evidence to the contrary, Angelo answered the objection raised by #58. If I'm wrong, that is easily corrected.
As of right now, the discussion of this policy is closed and per Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Conclusions is not to be reopened based on a single user's request. If people are dissatisfied with this policy which UNLIKE THE LAST ONE was debated and discussed by a number of editors (albeit not ALL), they have a right to reopen this debate as per, again, Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Conclusions. Lead the way.--Riurik(discuss) 21:57, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
What a surprise. Firstly, I thought discussion is open and that's why I drew attention to the fact that somebody already changed the policy. Secondly, I don't care a lot, but is this discussion and its conclusion ("the name at the official site differs from that used by UEFA or FIFA official web sites") really about naming convention for sports teams? Thirdly, I'm sorry if I offended you.   Jhony  |  Talk   22:55, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I proposed above to remove citations to UEFA and FIFA, as some of your concerns are shared by Number 57 as well. I think unciting football confederations can easily address such issues. In any case, let me note consensus is different than unanimity. WP:FOOTBALL guys have been advised about this discussion, which has been made centralized (rather than simply football-centric) with the aim to involve as many people as possible. The discussion went on for two weeks, so all the people around had enough time to join us; now it's definitely time to find a consensus and establish a naming convention. In the future, the guideline can be obviously changed, but right now we need a simple and reasonable guideline (and I personally think the current proposal is good enough for us). --Angelo (talk) 23:20, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
JHONY, I'm sorry, I didn't really see any objection to the proposal, but rather comments. Of course, everybody should be notified, and it appears that they have been. Personally, I have to second Angelo in that these conventions can always be changed, and having a better working model is better. What specifically in the conclusions would you change?
Thanks, Horlo (talk) 03:16, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Jhony, regarding the 2nd part of your note, referring to UEFA/FIFA made sense in the Football context, but I concede that in the broader sense of NC sports teams policy their inclusion within the policy is out of place. I have to say that, looking from another angle, the fact that you noticed my updating the NC sports teams policy is a welcome development since last time no one challenged the single editor update. Props for that, and no hard feelings. Regarding Angelo's proposal, I will go ahead and remove the UEFA/FIFA references as proposed above.--Riurik(discuss) 05:00, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I propose to generalize ("UEFA or FIFA official web" → "official site of international governing body (UEFA or FIFA official web in case of European football"), rather than to remove these citations.   Jhony  |  Talk   09:44, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
On a second note, I'm going to wait a little bit more. If no further input, will update in the next 12-24 hours.--Riurik(discuss) 05:04, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Wow, great work there guys...I really like that the conclusion so far is rational. I have a couple of notes I would like to make however, as much as I would like to see an updated version of this on the WC:NC page, perhaps пﮟოьεԻ (whats with your nick?) is right and we should get a wider input from WP:Football to make sure less-biased parties (and I say that for a reason..) have a chance to voice an opinion or two on this resolution? On second thought, the individuals who will likely add to this discussion will not have studied the issue as much as you all have or analyzed the benefits/drawbacks of your various proposals and will have reasoning similar to that of the OP of the WC:NC entry on this issue (
I'll post another request on the WP:Football talk page. My sig includes a letter from every alphabet used by members of the EBU except my own. пﮟოьεԻ 57 11:34, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Secondly, I think since you are all upto the task already, perhaps you can add in a similar bit for standardizing the bold title name (and the ensuing text) for these clubs as well? ie, there are too many variations as is (see Red_Star_Belgrade, Sparta Prague, NK_Dinamo_Zagreb, FK_Austria_Wien, ACF Fiorentina) (perhaps something similar to what is on Galatasaray_S.K. to appease individuals who would prefer the ambiguous name might be in order...or some combination of the examples so far). If anyone's not sure of what I'm talking about, ask and I will try to clarify.. --Palffy 07:01, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
About your second request, I think we should just feature both the chosen best-fitting name (full version), citing also the local version(s) (if any, and if different than the chosen "first name") and all the different English-language variants (everything must be obviously sourced). For instance:
  • FC Dynamo Kyiv (Ukrainian: ФК Динамо Київ, FK Dynamo Kyiv; Russian: Динамо Киев), also known as Dinamo Kiev, etc.etc.etc.
--Angelo (talk) 08:39, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I haven't commented on this debate before because I simply don't think it's that important. However, I think the suggestion here is the most reasonable one. I also thought it would be helpful to see how articles on other types of organizations are named. For example, the article on Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana is named Iberia Airlines since that is the most commonly used name for the company in the English-language sources. So even though the company has a registered legal name that is Spanish, the article name is the commonly-used English-language name for the company. Best regards. Jogurney (talk) 18:57, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. As to your example (at the risk of digressing), "Iberia Airlines" is not the most commonly used name, it is in fact rarely used. The commonly used name is simply "Iberia" (compare [21] and [22]). I think the best name for the article is "Iberia (airline)". The key thing here is that "Iberia" is a brand name used by the company itself, so using it is in my view entirely appropriate (unlike for example "BA" - even though it is the most commonly used name, the brand name is British Airways). Dkua (talk) 22:19, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
In reply to Angelo, I would only caution against cluttering the lead. Ok, so #57 made a second announcement at WPFootball. The current proposal (Dhuka v. 1.0) seems to stay, with the amendment tabled to strike out references to UEFA/FIFA. I suggest we extend the time for further comments until December 1st, 2007. Upon that date, we appraise the status of consensus, and adjust the current version of the policy to reflect the above proposed modifications.--Riurik(discuss) 06:29, 29 November 2007 (UTC)


Naming Conventions Sports Teams policy placed at Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Conclusions & WP:NC#Sports_teams:

(1) In cases where there is no ambiguity whatsoever as to the official spelling of a club's name in English, the official name should be used.

(2) In cases where there is some ambiguity as to the official spelling of a club's name in English, the name most commonly used by the English-language media should be used (as determined using the number of hits at Google News).

(*) Tests for "no ambiguity": the club's official web site has an English-language section; and that name has been adopted at least by a significant section of the English-language media; and it is recognizable; and it is not easily confused with other clubs' names.

(**) Tests for "ambiguity": the club's official web site does not have an English-language section; or it is not broadly recognizable; or it is easily confused with other clubs' names.

Note: This is the current NC sports teams (consensus appraised on 1 December 2007). The initial version which included references to UEFA/FIFA is available here. Thanks for everyone's input. --Riurik(discuss) 02:34, 2 December 2007 (UTC)