President Hopes that “Things Have Changed for the Better.”

President of Iceland

Following allegations that have plunged the Icelandic Football Association (KSÍ) into crisis, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson weighed in on the recent controversy in an interview with RÚV yesterday. Speaking before the Men’s National Team faced off against Romania, Guðni remarked that competing on behalf of Iceland is an honour, but that that honour comes with responsibility – that of “not being an idiot.”

Distressed by the revelations

Following revelations that the Icelandic Football Association (KSÍ) was privy to allegations of sexual offences, contrary to public statements made by its Director – who has since resigned, along with the board – President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson addressed the ongoing controversy in an interview with RÚV yesterday. Speaking before a match against the Romanian National Team, Guðni admitted that the recent allegations had caused him distress.

“Of course I’ve been distressed. We must be able to support Iceland’s representatives on a stage like this, while at the same time supporting victims of violence and harassment; otherwise, we’re in deep trouble. The leadership within the Icelandic Football Association has shouldered responsibility, and now we hope things have changed for the better. I think that we will also see that society is evolving; what once was covered up, will be forced into the light of day,” Guðni stated.

“At the same time, however,” Guðni continued, “we must beware not to jump out of the fire into the frying pan. The Icelandic National team is about to compete. I try to attend all of Iceland’s matches, no matter the sport, whether men or women, and there’s no original sin that comes with being a man and enjoying football. We can attend the games and enjoy ourselves, but we must be certain that if something untoward occurs, that there will be consequences.”

“There’s a great honour that comes with representing Iceland, whether in sports or other arenas. That honour comes with responsibility; to behave decently – not being an idiot. From here on out, we will learn from our experience and look ahead with optimism. That’ll make living in this country good.”

Disappointed by recent developments

As noted by RÚV, President Guðni was contacted by the father of a woman who alleged that she was physically and sexually assaulted by a member of the men’s national team in 2017. The President replied  to the man’s email stating that he had discussed the matter with the Director of the Icelandic Football Association; however, given the nature of his office, he could not involve himself in the matter directly.

Asked if how the Icelandic Football Associated handled the matter was a disappointment, President Guðni replied in the affirmative, but qualified his affirmation with reference to a past settlement: “Yes, as far as recent developments are concerned. At the time, however, it was my understanding that the victim had been content with how these matters were resolved, and I believe that all of the evidence, which has since come to light, confirms this.”

Icelandic Thriller Blackport Takes Grand Prize at Series Mania 2021

Blackport TV series

The Icelandic TV series Blackport won the Grand Prize at the 2021 Series Mania festival yesterday. Blackport will premiere on RÚV on December 26 and is produced by Vesturport in collaboration with RÚV, ARTE France, and Turbine Studios.

“On Cloud Nine”

Based in Lille since 2018, Series Mania is a festival dedicated solely to European TV shows. This year marked the first in-person iteration of the festival since 2019. During the festival’s award ceremony yesterday, the Icelandic TV series Blackport (Verbúð) was honoured with the Grand Prize in the International Competition.

“We’re on cloud nine,” actress Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir remarked, speaking to Iceland Review from her home in Reykjavík this morning. “We’re incredibly happy to have been accepted to the festival; we were competing with big productions, from the likes of HBO, so we weren’t exactly expecting to win. Being honoured with the grand prize far exceeded our expectations.”

Premieres on December 26

As noted by Screen Daily, Blackport is a “political thriller set in a once-thriving fishing port hit by quota restrictions in the mid-1980s.” Created by Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir, Gísli Örn Garðarson, and Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, the series – mainly shot in Suðureyri and the Greater Reykjavík area – entered into production last summer and wrapped in August.

“It’s been a long road, complicated by COVID-19; we shot part of the series in Hull and Grimsby, but travelling there last winter proved difficult in light of the pandemic,” Nína Dögg stated. The actress plays the lead role in the series along with Björn Hlynur Haraldsson. Blackport also features Gísli Örn Garðarsson, Unnur Ösp Stefánsdóttir, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Ingvar E. Sigurðsson, Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, and Selma Björnsdóttir.

Blackport is produced by Vesturport in partnership with RÚV, ARTE France, and Turbine Studios. The series comprises eight episodes and will premiere on RÚV on December 26. “Before the premiere, we’ll be taking it to Mipcom in October and to another festival in Barcelona. From there, the ball will start rolling,” Nína Dögg stated.

Missing Hiker Found Dead After Apparent Fall on Strandartindur

fatal accident Iceland

The hiker who went missing yesterday in Seyðisfjörður was found dead on Strandartindur last night. It is believed that the man, a foreign traveller, fell on the cliffs of the mountain, RÚV reports.

The man set out alone on a hike from Seyðisfjörður yesterday morning. His friends, awaiting him in town, contacted police after being unable to reach him via phone. A search effort was launched, and the area around Strandartindur was surveyed with drones. Around noon, the police requested further assistance from search-and-rescue units in East and Northeast Iceland.

According to Davíð Már Bjarnason, ICE-SAR’s public relations officer, the conditions on the mountain were difficult, RÚV reports. Approximately eighty people took part in the search, among them individuals specialized in mountain rescue.

An investigation of the accident is currently underway. Speaking to Iceland Review this morning, the Police in East Iceland could offer no further comment.