From Iceland — Country Shuts Down Just Before Football Match

Country Shuts Down Just Before Football Match

Published June 23, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Hours before the final whistle blew on Iceland’s 2-1 victory against Austria, the whole country was preparing to give the game its undivided attention.

RÚV reports that numerous workplaces around the country closed up early in order to let employees get home, to the local pub, or down to Ingólfstorg to be able to watch the game. Announcements of early closings could be seen hanging in the windows of numerous businesses.

As to be expected, the game had a significant effect on capital area car traffic as well. Vísir reports there was bumper-to-bumper traffic, moving at a snail’s pace, in the minutes just before the start of the game.

Traffic jams are exceedingly uncommon in Iceland, but even more so is the sight of empty roads at 17:00, which was reportedly the case during much of the game.

For those of you who have been enjoying and sharing Icelandic sports announcer Guðmundur Benediktsson’s epic shrieking victory cry, we at The Grapevine have taken the liberty of translating what he was actually shouting, which you can read here.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!