Men’s National Football Team Announced, Captain Reinstated

Aron Einar Gunnarsson - Iceland Football National Team

At a press conference today, Arnar Þór Viðarsson, head coach of the men’s national football team, introduced his squad for the upcoming fixtures. Former team captain Aron Einar Gunnarsson has been handed the armband again, having not been selected to the team since 2021, RÚV reports, following accusations of sexual misconduct.

Squad announced

At a press conference at KSÍ (Football Association of Iceland) headquarters today, Arnar Þór Viðarsson, head coach of the men’s national football team, announced the squad for the team’s upcoming fixtures. The team will play a friendly against Venezuela on September 22 before facing off against Albania five days later, in what will be an important match in the Nation’s League.

Police investigation against Aron Einar dropped

Notable inclusions in the squad include former captain Aron Einar Gunnarsson, who returns to the team after accusations of sexual assault surfaced in the summer of 2021. The police opened an investigation into the matter September of that year, and when he was left out of the squad a month later, Aron Einar released a public statement accusing KSÍ’s board of directors of yielding to “cancel culture.”

As reported by RÚV, coach Arnar Þór subsequently called for KSÍ and ÍSÍ (the National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland) to set clear rules for which players could be selected to the team. New rules were later established, RÚV notes, which stipulate that players cannot be selected for the national team if they are under police investigation. Aron Einar Gunnarsson is currently eligible for selection as his case was dropped in May.

Notable inclusions, exclusions

Forward Alfreð Finnbogason, who plays with Lyngby in Denmark, also returns to the team after a near two-year hiatus, following prolonged injury, as do defender Guðlaugur Victor Pálsson and goalkeeper Elías Rafn Ólafsson.

Perhaps the most notable exclusion from the team is Albert Guðmundsson; during the press conference, coach Arnar Þór expressed disappointment with Albert’s attitude during the last international break. “To me, it’s a great honour to play for the national team, and that calls for 100% focus, every day, always. You’re either 100% with us or you’re not,” Arnar explained.

Brynjar Ingi Bjarnason was also left out of the team; Sverrir Ingi Ingason and Arnór Ingvi Traustason announced that they were unavailable, owing to personal reasons; and Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson is recovering from a minor injury.

The squad:

Goalkeepers:
Patrik Sigurður Gunnarsson – Viking FK – 1 cap
Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson – Alanyaspor – 17 caps
Elías Rafn Ólafsson – FC Midtjylland – 4 caps

Defenders:
Daníel Leó Grétarsson – Slask Wroclaw – 10 caps
Hjörtur Hermannsson – Pisa – 25 caps, 1 goal
Hörður Björgvin Magnússon – Panathinaikos – 41 games, 2 goals
Davíð Kristján Ólafsson – Kalmar FF – 7 caps
Guðlaugur Victor Pálsson – D.C. United – 29 caps, 1 goal
Alfons Sampsted – Bodo/Glimt – 13 caps

Midfielders:
Aron Einar Gunnarsson – Al Arabi – 97 caps, 2 goals
Hákon Arnar Haraldsson – FC Köbenhavn – 3 caps
Ísak Bergmann Jóhannesson – FC Köbenhavn – 13 caps, 1 goal
Þórir Jóhann Helgason – Lecce – 12 caps, 2 goals
Stefán Teitur Þórðarson – Silkeborg IF – 12 caps, 1 goal
Birkir Bjarnason – Adana Demirspor – 110 caps, 15 goals
Aron Elís Þrándarson – OB – 14 caps, 1 goal
Mikael Neville Anderson – AGF – 14 caps, 1 goal
Jón Dagur Þorsteinsson – OH Leuven – 21 games, 4 goals
Mikael Egill Ellertsson – Spezia Calcio – 6 caps
Arnór Sigurðsson – IFK Norrköping – 21 games, 2 goals

Forwards:
Alfreð Finnbogason – Lyngby BK – 61 games, 15 goals
Andri Lucas Guðjohnsen – IFK Norrköping – 9 caps, 2 goals
Sveinn Aron Guðjohnsen – IF Elfsborg – 16 caps, 1 goal

One Night in Gufunes

Geoffrey SkywalkerGeoffrey “Skywalker” pulls up in a Hertz moving truck in front of the FÚSK warehouse in East Reykjavík. He’s dressed in skinny jeans and white sneakers, wearing a black, longsleeved shirt featuring an ornery-seeming Rottweiler. (He’s a dog person.)A fixture of the hip-hop scene in Iceland since he was younger, Geoffrey hustled his way […]

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Icelandic President’s Coat of Arms Unveiled in Denmark

Guðni Th.

President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson was awarded the Order of the Elephant in 2017. In a ceremony at Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød last Monday, the president’s personal coat of arms was unveiled.

“To thine own self be true”

President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson was awarded Denmark’s Order of the Elephant by the queen during a state visit in 2017. The Order of the Elephant is Denmark’s highest-ranked honour, which is almost exclusively awarded to royalty and heads of state today.

For over 300 years, it has been customary for every knight of the order to have a personal coat of arms made by the royal heraldic painter, which is hung in the Knight’s Chapel at Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød. On Monday, Guðni’s escutcheon was unveiled and hung in a ceremony attended by the president and First Lady Eliza Reid.

As noted on the website of the royal house, the coat of arms consists of six elements inspired by Iceland and the president’s life:

“The colours of the shield are that of the Icelandic flag. The open book refers to the study of history, university studies, and the president’s civilian career as a historian. The hammer resting atop the book is Mjölnir, representing strength, sport, and health. The waves symbolise the intertwining of Iceland’s fate and its surrounding sea while also evoking the president’s studies abroad (and the fact that he found his wife on the other side of the Atlantic). The maple leaf refers to the First Lady’s Canadian ancestry. Finally, five anchors represent the president’s children.

The slogan on the coat of arms is TIBI IPSI ESTO FIDELIS, which translates to “Be true to yourself.”

Hollywood-Burglar Nabs Four Packs of Cigarettes, Slips Away

Burglary

The Prinsinn shop in Reykjavík suffered its fifth burglary in one year this week, Vísir reports. Taking a cue from Hollywood, the thief rappelled down through a hole in the roof before breaking a narrow hole in a glass door to escape. The burglar stole into the night with four packs of cigarettes.

“Mission Impossible”

The owner of the Prinsinn sweet shop in the Árbær neighbourhood of Reykjavík, Guðjón Jónasson, is no stranger to break-ins. Having suffered several burglaries in the past, Guðjón told Vísir yesterday that no valuables are stored in his shop overnight.

Enter a cat burglar.

Burglary
Gujón Jónasson (Screenshot from Vísir.is)

Rappelling down a hole that he had sawn in the roof, a masked thief landed on Guðjón’s shop floor earlier this week and headed for the cigarette cabinet. Thwarted by the near impregnability of the cabinet, the thief panicked. With four packs of cigarettes on his person, he headed for the exit, but was unable to escape – so he cut a hole in the glass.

“But the hole, as you can see, is only yay big,” Guðjón told Vísir. “I can barely fit my shoulder through it. But somehow, the burglar manages to jump through the hole. He gets stuck, tips over, and leaks through the window. It’s like a scene from a movie.”

Sjoppa
Guðjón Jónasson (Screenshot from Vísir.is)

This is the most elaborate break-in attempt that Prinsinn has suffered according to Guðjón: “This person probably watched Mission Impossible one too many times. I wonder whether there’s something bigger in the works.”

If asked if he had a message for future burglars, Guðjón responded bluntly: “Don’t do it. There’s nothing of value to be obtained.”

Security footage from the break-in can be viewed here.

Reykjavík International Film Festival Launches Despite Decrease in Funding

reykjavík international film festival

The Reykjavík International Film Festival (RIFF) will be beginning its 19th season this September 29th. However, the scope of the event will be slightly pulled back this year, given recent cuts in public funding to the arts.

A Reykjavík institution

RIFF has become a centre of the film scene in Iceland is recent years, spotlighting lesser-known international directors. Despite the decline in funding, some 70 films will be featured from 59 nations.

Especially prevalent this year will be short-form films, with some 207 short films featured. Additionally, a special emphasis is being placed this year on women in filmmaking, with a majority of the featured films directed by female directors.

New tech

In a drive to reduce the environmental impact of RIFF, the use of printed materials such as programmes and posters will be reduced. Instead of programmes, RIFF is launching an app this year to help reduce paper waste.

Movie-goers will be able to access the programme schedule, in addition to buy tickets and find other information about the screenings.

Anticipated releases

Several films will be making their world premiere at this year’s RIFF, such as Icelandic director Sigurjón Sighvatsson’s Exxtinction Emergency, a documentary about the Extinction Rebellion environmental movement.

RIFF has also been known for untraditional screenings, including drive-in car screenings and pool screening at Reykjavík’s swimming facilities. This year RIFF will also feature a glacial screening inside Langjökull, where Lars Ostenfeld’s documentary Into the Ice will be shown. According to a press release from RIFF, this represents “a unique opportunity to understand and perceive the power of filmmaking in the natural setting of the film’s subject.”