New Coach Speaks Out on the Case of Gylfi Þór

Iceland football team

Åge Hareide, the newly appointed coach of the Icelandic men’s national football team, has commented on the situation involving Gylfi Þór Sigurðsson to Norwegian media. Notably, Åge’s contract with the Football Association of Iceland was barely finalized when it was announced that the charges against Gylfi Þór had been dropped.

Read more: Charges Dropped Against Gylfi Þór Sigurðsson

As IR has reported, Gylfi Þór had been accused of multiple offences against an underage individual. Now, the new National Men’s Football coach has spoken openly about the matter. The 69-year-old coach said that he is on his way to Iceland today, Monday, to meet with his staff at the Icelandic national team.

“He hasn’t played for a long time. He was possibly the best player Iceland has ever had. He ended up in a difficult position. I hope he puts on his shoes again. All teams can benefit from a player with his abilities,” said Åge when asked about Gylfi Þór.

Gylfi Þór has not played football since 2021, when he was arrested. With the case against him now dropped, he will be available for selection by the national team.

Read More: Åge Hareide New Head Coach of the Men’s National Football Team

Coach Hareide said he hoped the player would return to playing soon and that he had not decided on how to handle the situation around him. “I know very little about this matter. I need to look into it further before I say more,” replied Åge when asked if he would personally contact Gylfi Þór.

Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir, the chairperson of the Football Association of Iceland, has stated that there is nothing stopping Gylfi Þór from being selected for the national team in the future, now that the charges have been dropped.

Åge Hareide New Head Coach of the Men’s National Football Team

Åge Hareide

Norwegian coach Åge Hareide has taken over as the head coach of the men’s national football team. Two weeks have passed since head coach Arnar Þór Viðarsson was let go.

An experienced coach

In a press release today, the Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ) announced that it had hired Norwegian Åge Hareide as coach of the men’ national football team. Iceland’s first games under Hareide will be home matches against Slovakia and Portugal on June 17 and June 20 respectively at the Laugardalsvöllur stadium. The games are part of the qualifiers for the UEFA Euro 2024 tournament.

As noted in the press release, Hareide is well known to football fans and has a long career as a coach of some of the biggest clubs in the Nordic countries, as well as having coached the national teams of Norway and Denmark for years with considerable success. Hareide was in charge of the Norwegian national team between 2003 and 2008 and led the Danish national team between 2016 and 2020.

Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir, Chair of KSÍ, is quoted as saying that Hareide is an extremely experienced coach: “[He knows what it takes to be successful. The whole search and recruitment process went relatively quickly, as we had certain ideas about the profile we wanted for the job. I am very satisfied with the appointment and have high hopes for the good results of the men’s national team under the leadership of Åge.”

Has followed the Icelandic team for quite some time

The press release also features a few quotes from Haredie: “I have followed the Icelandic team for quite some time, especially around the years that the team went to the European Championship in 2016 and the World Cup in 2018. I am looking forward to the challenge of helping the team succeed again.”

Hareide went on to say that Iceland boasts many strong players.

“I have seen many of them play for their club teams in Scandinavia and have also coached several Icelandic players over the years. In general, they are reliable and hardworking, but also disciplined players with tactical intelligence, and you need these qualities to be successful in national team football.”

“Our goal is to get to the European Championship in 2024. I remember well the Icelandic fans in France 2016. They had a very unique atmosphere and passion. It would be great to be able to give them the opportunity to repeat the game and we hope that the stands will be full of people at our home ground in Reykjavík.”

Two weeks since Arnar Þór Viðarsson was let go

As previously reported by IR, head coach Arnar Þór Viðarsson was let go towards the end of March following a 7-0 victory against Liechtenstein. Yesterday, KSÍ published several minutes from board meetings in the lead up to Arnar’s termination. These include joint minutes from two meetings held on March 29 and 30 – when the fate of head coach Arnar Þór Viðarsson’s was ultimately sealed.

The minutes state that the board discussed the state of the national team in detail and that there was a consensus that the last international break had been a disappointment. “It is clear that faith in the road ahead has waned,” the minutes state. The board decided to discuss the issue in more detail at a follow-up meeting the next day.

The meeting was adjourned before 9 PM. Sixteen hours later, at 1 PM, the board met for a meeting via the Teams electronic communication programme. After a forty-minute meeting, the result was to relieve Arnar Þór of his duties immediately and entrust the Chair of KSÍ to start the search for a new national team coach.

Changes to Payment Processing Over the Weekend Led to Overcharges

digital payment iceland online banking

Updates to digital payment systems caused confusion over the weekend, when some consumers in Iceland were charged excessive amounts for some everyday purchases.

On Saturday, April 15, Íslandsbanki sent out a message to its customers in advance of the change, stating: “This weekend, there will be a global standard change implemented by payment processors that involves the removal of decimal points from Icelandic Króna currency. As a result, Mastercard will be removing decimal points from its transactions starting tomorrow, Saturday, April 15th at 7:05 PM.  Customers of our bank may be alerted to incorrect amounts when making purchases in Icelandic currency during that time, if payment processors do not update their settlements in a timely manner.”

Íslandsbanki warned customer to refrain from making certain purchases if they were uncertain of the charge. However, some Icelanders were unpleasantly surprised on their banking statements, as Morgunblaðið notes.

Among some of the charges include one Icelander who reportedly was charged 176,000 ISK [$1,290, €1,175] at Bæjarins Beztu, a popular hotdog stand, and an Icelander who was charged 642,600 ISK [$4,715, €4,293] for a grocery trip.

Regarding such charges, Íslandsbank stated: “If customers continue with their purchase and are charged the wrong amount, they should wait until the transaction has been settled and then contact the seller for a correction, or submit a refund request to Íslandsbanki.”

Online payment service Paypal likewise suspended ISK transactions between April 14 and 18.

Those experiencing problems with their banking are advised to contact their bank directly.

What’s in a Name: Forestry and Soil Conservation Agencies Debate New Title

forestry

The Environment and Transport Committee of Iceland’s parliament has received a proposal for a new law on forestry and land conservation, which aims to merge the two existing agencies, the Land Conservation Agency and the Forestry Service.

The proposal identifies key issues of the merger between the two agencies. The plan, called “Land and Life,” was created by the Land Conservation Agency and the Forestry Service and outlines their vision for land and forest management through 2031.

Read more: Use of Lodgepole Pine Sparks Feud

The new organization, named “Land and Forest,” has been proposed as the name for the merged agency. However, the Land Conservation Agency has suggested that a better name might be found, given that the proposed name does not reflect the activities of the two agencies.

In a statement, the Soil Conservation Agency noted the need for a “more suitable name” for the new institution. Alternatives proposed include “Land and Life,” “Institute of Land Resources,” and “Earth.”

Read more: First-Ever Joint Policy on Land Reclamation and Reforestation

The existing law on land conservation will still apply, and the merger will not change any ongoing work or projects. The proposed new law identifies the significant benefits of the merger, including streamlined operations and increased efficiency. However, the new organization will have a broader mandate and be better equipped to manage the country’s natural resources effectively.