Controversy Over English Footballers & Icelandic Women Reveals Double Standard

Controversy Over English Footballers & Icelandic Women Reveals Double Standard

Published September 8, 2020

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Wikimedia Commons

On September 6th, two Icelandic women—Nadía Sif Líndal and Lára Clausen—paid a visit to two English footballers—Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden—at Hótel Saga. This in itself should not be newsworthy, but one wrinkle in this story has set the international press ablaze: the footballers in question were in quarantine at the time, and as such, have each been fined 250,000 ISK and will not get to compete for a match in Denmark.

Since then, the two women involved, who initially did not want to talk to the press, have since felt compelled to defend themselves on social media—despite the fact that while the footballers were well aware they were in quarantine, Nadía Sif and Lára were not.

The name-calling begins

Since the story broke, these two have had to endure all kinds of vicious name-calling on social media. Commenters have accused them of being groupies, of trying to sell their story, and other assorted ugliness.

The matter got so ugly that two other Icelandic women, Social Democrat MP Helga Vala Helgadóttir and consultant Þórey Vilhjálmsdóttir, both issued statements defending the Nadía Sif and Lára, calling upon people to stop the wild accusations and show some sympathy for the two.

Compelled to answer for themselves

Lára has written extensively about the experience on Instagram, admitting that she had posted videos of their visit on social media. However, she said that not only was she unaware that the two men were in quarantine—a sentiment that Nadía Sif has also expressed—but that she didn’t even know these two men were famous in any way, as she does not follow football.

In the midst of all this, Phil Foden issued an apology on Twitter. He apologised to virtually everyone— his team, Gareth Southgate, his fans, his club, and his family—but not to the two women in question, nor Iceland at all.

“They know the rules”

The Guardian pointed out that Gareth Southgate has gone too easy on Foden and Greenwood, saying in part that “Foden and Greenwood are 20 and 18, respectively, but their youth does not excuse them. They know the rules. They are not difficult to understand or follow.”

Whatever the outcome, the responses the two Icelandic women and the two English footballers have received show some very stark contrasts.

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