National Football Team Parts Ways with Head Coach Arnar Þór Skip to content

National Football Team Parts Ways with Head Coach Arnar Þór

By Ragnar Tómas

Football, head coach
Photo: Hafliði Breiðfjörð (Head coach Arnar Þór following the team’s defeat to Bosnia).

The board of the Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ) has fired the head coach of the men’s national football team, Arnar Þór Viðarsson. KSÍ Chairperson Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir has stated that the association was not convinced Arnar Þór was “the right person” to take the team forward.

A “difficult decision”

As noted in a press release on KSÍ’s website yesterday, the association’s board has decided to terminate the head coach of the men’s national football team, Arnar Þór Viðarsson. According to the statement, KSÍ considers the termination a “necessary step, taken with the team’s interest in mind, so as to return the team to the forefront of the sport.”

The press release quotes Chair of KSÍ, Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir: “This is, of course, a difficult decision, but we consider it necessary and correct with the interests of the team in mind. Arnar has done many good things here at KSÍ ​​and deserves praise for his work, which was often carried out in challenging situations. We will now immediately turn our attention to finding his successor, in order to start preparations for the team’s next matches, which will take place this summer.”

As noted by Ví, Arnar was appointed head coach of the Icelandic national team at the end of 2020. He managed the team for 31 games. Under his direction, the team won six games, drew thirteen, and lost twelve (a win percentage of 19.4%). Before Arnar was hired as the national team coach, he led the U-21 national team and, among other things, reached the European Championship finals.

Arnar led the Icelandic national team for the last time in two matches in the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying tournament earlier this month. Iceland lost its first match to Bosnia, 3-0, prior to dispatching Liechtenstein in quite comfortable fashion, 7-0.

“Not the right person”

After the news broke, Chair Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir spoke to a reporter for the TV channel Stöð 2: “The board convened yesterday, and we started discussing these issues, and it just became clear that there was no faith in the project and there was no faith that Arnar Þór was the right person. We had another meeting earlier today and the decision was made.”

Vanda added that the decision to sack Arnar was not discussed with the players, but the board stood by its decision: “We stand behind our decision. But no, we didn’t discuss this with the players.”

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