The previous days have seen KSI’s Director, Guðni Bergsson as well as its board, deputies and regional representatives resign from their posts amid claims that reports of sexual assault perpetrated by its players were ignored or mishandled. Now, CEO Klara Bjartmarz is facing backlash when it was announced that she would remain in her post. Players are also facing public opposition for staying silent on the matter.
Declining to resign
Klara Bjartmarz will not resign or be fired by the board, reports Vísir. The current board, although resigned, will remain in their duties until an extraordinary session is called in four weeks time. Icelandic Top Football (ÍTF) are among the numerous voices calling for Klara to also resign to help restore faith in the association.
At the same time, Kristrún Heimisdóttir, a lawyer and former member of the board of Icelandic Sports and Olympic Association (Íþrótta- og Ólympíusambands Íslands), has come to Klara’s defence stating she is, “a feminist, a fighter for gays, lesbians and other minorities and has always and will always work for the rights and welfare of these groups”, according to Vísir.
Arnar Þór Viðarsson, coach of the National Team has spoken out that his players are afraid to speak on the controversy. He claims this hesitancy stems from the fear of saying the wrong thing in a time when it’s hard to say the right thing, reports Vísir.
“I do not think it is a secret that this has been very difficult. My job is to manage this so that we can manage the team and get the players with the right mindset for these three important games. I’m not even going to try to explain it any further. This is just very difficult for everyone”, Arnar says.
It is yet to be seen how this statement will be taken by upset fans and outraged members of the public.
There has also been some movement in the team in recent days, KSÍ decided this weekend to remove Kolbein Sigþórsson from the team and Rúnar Már Sigurjónsson withdrew. Viðar Örn Kjartansson and Gísli Eyjólfsson both joined the group in their stead.
These allegations are coming to light as the team is preparing for the World Cup qualifiers; the team is set to play against Romania at Laugardalsvöll tomorrow.
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