From Iceland — Football Association Board Apologises, But Questions Remain

Football Association Board Apologises, But Questions Remain

Published August 30, 2021

Photo by
Vísir/Daníel

The board of the Icelandic Football Association (KSÍ) has issued an apology to survivors of sexual assault at the hands of players on the men’s national team. Now former KSÍ director Guðni Bergsson has resigned.

Borghildur Sigurðardóttir, one of the vice chairs of KSÍ told reporters yesterday that the reason why the board did not act sooner was because the matter “just clearly never came to the board’s table, and we were never aware of this in any way”.

Over the weekend, copies of an email dated 19 March 2018, wherein both Guðni and KSÍ managing director Klara Bjartmarz are directly addressed, has been circulating. Only the first sentence is made visible, but indicates that the sender is the father of Þórhildur Gyða Arnarsdóttir, who had come forward recently about the assault she reportedly was subjected to by a KSÍ footballer.

For her part, Klara told reporters that assaults were never brought to the attention of the KSÍ board. She also said that she has not watched Guðni’s interview on Kastljós, wherein he made a number of statements about the matter which later turned out to be untrue.

In KSÍ’s apology statement, they say that their previous statement, from August 17, wherein they denied that sexual assault allegations had been silenced by the board, “was based on limited information that the board had, wherein more documentation and information was needed, which later came to light.”

They apologised to those who had pointed out a problem with violence within their ranks, and said in closing, “As part of the largest volunteer movement in Iceland it matters what KSÍ says and does. We have never been as aware as we are now, and we will seek help to make radical changes, take care of survivors, and be a part of the solution.”

The full backstory on this matter can be read here.

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