According to a report from RÚV, the Icelandic government is now considering boycotting the 2018 World Cup hosted in Russia to show solidarity with the UK after a neurotoxic attack against a former spy and his daughter on British soil.
If Icelandic authorities go ahead with the boycott attempt, no Icelandic leaders would travel to Russia for the football event. The discussion is currently ongoing with what Minister of Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þorðarson calls “Iceland’s allies,” possibly referring to other Nordic countries. In fact, Denmark is also currently discussing the possibility of joining the boycott.
“These are serious matters,” Guðlaugur told RÚV. “They don’t involve only Britain. That’s why we are discussing this with our allies, but a final decision has yet to be made.”
In general, Icelandic authorities are taking the World Cup as an opportunity to exploit the spotlight Iceland is currently enjoying and figure out how to present the country to the world. “It’s a unique opportunity for us. We aren’t only the smallest nation to join the World Cup, we are the smallest by a long shot,” Guðlaugur explains. “So it’s important that we take advantage of this opportunity to show the world what we have to offer.” As of now, the plan is to focus on Icelandic values such as sustainability, equality and respect for human rights, as well as sources of pride such as fisheries, geothermal energy and creativity, for instance when it comes to literature.
The good news is that while the political leaders of Iceland would be missing from the supporters’ ranks, the football team itself and their supporters would still be free to travel to Russia and do some smiting—as planned. It will be a shame if the President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson won’t be able to support our team of smiters in person: as he has made abundantly clear in the advertisement above, in fact, he’s extremely excited about the World Cup, and with those mad skills at kicking the ball who can blame him?