Press Photos of the Year 2018

Each year, the Icelandic Press Photo Association runs a contest for the year’s best photographs. From the elation of a crowd watching Iceland’s first-ever World Cup match, to the touch of rescuers’ hands on a beached whale, this year’s winning shots evoke a range of emotions. Iceland Review spoke to the winners in each category for some insight into their entries.

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Iceland Wins First Euro 2020 Qualifying Match

Iceland’s national men’s football team won its first UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying match against Andorra on Friday, RÚV reports. It is the team’s first victory under new coach Eirik Hamrén, following the departure of Coach Heimir Hallgrímsson, who led the team to their historic World Cup debut in 2018.

Much as expected, Iceland took control of the game from the start and Birkir Bjarnason took the first shot on goal only eight minutes into the match. Minutes later, Ari Freyr Skúlason made a great cross to Alfreð Finnbogason in the goal area, but surprisingly, Alfreð’s shot went right over the goal.

Andorra had five corner kicks in the first 20 minutes of the game, but didn’t manage to make anything of these opportunities. In the 22nd minute, Iceland got its first corner. Gylfi Þór Sigurðsson directed the ball to Ragnar Sigurðsson, who headed it into the far post. Birkir Bjarnason was quick to take a rebound shot, which finally found its target. The score was 1 – 0 at the half.

The second half got off to a slower start, with very little action for the first 15 minutes of play. Rúnar Már Sigurjónsson then came in for captain Aron Einar Gunnarsson. Aron, who underwent knee surgery in April 2018 after sustaining an injury while playing for Cardiff City F.C., immediately had to ice his knee after coming off the field, but is expected to be in good shape to play Iceland’s next qualifying match against France in Paris on Monday evening.

Viðar Örn Kjartansson came in for Alfreð Finnbogason in the 70th minute and ten minutes later, he received a right cross from Birkir Már Sævarsson and scored the second and final goal of the match. This was Viðar Örn’s third goal with the national team.

Foster Application Rejection on Basis of Disability Illegal, Says Court

Judge's gavel

The Child Protection Agency was wrong to reject an application submitted by Freyja Haraldsdóttir to foster a child without even giving her the opportunity to attend a course for people interested in fostering children, RÚV reports. This was the ruling of the Court of Appeals, or Landsréttur, and overturned the previous ruling made by the District Court.

The decision to reject Freyja’s application was based, among other things, on the agency’s assessment that she did not fulfill the requirement of being in overall good health. (Freyja, who is a former Bright Future MP and disability rights activist, has a genetic disorder called Osteogenesis imperfecta.) The agency also stated that there is no information or research available on how foster situations work out when the foster parent utilizes user-led personal assistance services, as Freyja does.

According to Landsréttur, laws related to people with disabilities state that in relevant situations, a person’s general health should be assessed without reference to their disability. User-led personal assistance services are, moreover, aimed at helping the recipient overcome limitations in their daily lives to whatever extent is possible and to better allow them to participate in society to the fullest extent.

Landsréttur determined that Freyja’s application had been rejected on the basis of her disability and was, therefore, illegal. This then renders the Child Protection Agency’s decision invalid.