At a press conference yesterday, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson – captain of Iceland’s men’s national football team – told reporters that he had raised concerns about Iceland’s inadequate pitch conditions during a meeting with Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Vísir reports. The team will face off against Luxembourg tonight in a 2024 UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier.
“We’re not asking for much”
Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, set to captain Iceland’s men’s national football team in tonight’s UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier against Luxembourg, addressed media queries at a press conference yesterday, fielding several questions concerning Iceland’s subpar pitch conditions.
Jóhann told reporters that he had met Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir and raised an informal concern regarding the unacceptable state of Iceland’s football pitches. Katrín is currently in Luxembourg for talks with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.
As noted by RÚV, local football club Breiðablik – having secured a spot in the Europa Conference League’s group stage – now faces the challenge of hosting home games at Laugardalsvöllur, Iceland’s sole sanctioned football pitch. The pitch lacks undersoil heating, raising concerns about the prospect of maintaining its quality until Breiðablik’s final home match in November.
The Icelandic men’s team is also likely to compete in a playoff for a berth in the UEFA Euro 2024 finals next March, intensifying the urgency to upgrade Laugardalsvöllur’s playing conditions.
Jóhann expressed envy for Luxembourg’s national stadium, the venue for tonight’s match between the two countries. “I told Katrín during breakfast this morning that Iceland needs a comparable facility. We’re not asking for much – just one quality pitch for crucial matches, especially when Laugardalsvöllur’s readiness is in doubt,” Jóhann stated.
He further noted that the issue has languished in committees for nearly a decade. “Perhaps it’s time to explore alternatives to endless committee discussions,” Jóhann suggested.
The match between Iceland and Luxembourg kicks off at 6:45 p.m. tonight.