In Focus: Icelandic Football Association Accused of Silencing Violence and Sexual Assault

Recently, national coverage of high-pro.file sexual assault cases gave second wind to the #metoo movement in Iceland, renewing discussion of the power imbalance between celebrities accused of sexual violence and their accusers. A few of the cases mentioned on social media allegedly involved famous footballers and voices calling for justice grew louder, putting pressure on […]

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Uncontested Election for Football Association’s New Chair

Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir, a former member of the women’s national football team, is the only candidate in the running for the position of Chair of the Icelandic Football Association’s interim Board of Directors. As the deadline for candidacies expired last Saturday, Vanda is set to be appointed without election.

The board resigns

On August 30 – following criticism for its handling of revelations of sexual violence by members of the Icelandic football league – the Icelandic Football Association’s Board of Directors resigned. The resignation came just a few days after the Association’s Director, Guðni Bergsson, stepped aside. (Guðni stated in an interview with RÚV in August that the Association “had no knowledge” of accusations of sexual violence that were circulating online.)

In a press release announcing its resignation, the Board of Directors also stated that it would be holding an extraordinary meeting in four weeks’ time to elect an interim board. Given that aspirants were required to announce their candidacy no later than a week before the extraordinary meeting (to be held next Saturday, October 2), it is apparent that Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir will be chosen without election.

Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir (full name Halldóra Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir) is a former multi-sport athlete who played both for the women’s national football team and the national basketball team. In 2001, Vanda became the first woman in Iceland to coach a men’s football team (Neisti from Hofsós).

Next annual meeting to be held in February

Besides Vanda, eight individuals have announced their candidacy for the eight available positions on the Association’s interim Board of Directors. Likewise, three individuals have announced their candidacy to the three available positions on the Football Association’s auxiliary board. As reported by Fréttablaðið, given the few candidacies, there will be little ado as far as elections are concerned.

The interim Board of Directors will be in office until the Association’s next annual meeting, which will be held in February of next year.