The Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ) is striving to strengthen its relationship with affiliated clubs and increase participation at all levels. Numbers of registered players in Iceland have been rising steadily year on year, with attendances at coach education courses also reaching a new high in 2021.
Key challenges for the years ahead include:
- Balancing the need to develop domestic elite football with the needs of the grassroots game.
- Supporting players as they look to make the step up from youth to senior national teams.
- Introducing initiatives and analytics tools to support development at all levels.
A 2021 report on the state of women’s football in Iceland sparked the launch of a number of initiatives linked to the promotion and development of the women's game, including a social media campaign aimed at bringing more women into football as referees, coaches and club officials. The KSÍ, incidentally, is the only European national association with two women at the helm: Vanda Sigurgeirsdóttir (re-elected as president in February 2022) and Klara Bjartmarz (general secretary since 2015).
"At the Icelandic FA, we feel an obligation to commit ourselves to the beautiful game of football and do everything we can to continue its development in the future. Football has the power to change the world in so many ways and to make it a better place. We can all play our part, to the best of our abilities."
UEFA’s HatTrick programme, which channels EURO funds into football development across Europe, has helped the KSÍ to improve local footballing facilities, fund grassroots activities and further develop women’s football and participation.
HatTrick funding is also supporting the KSÍ’s construction fund, a long-term project geared toward upgrading footballing infrastructure at Icelandic clubs. The new cycle is supporting eight to ten individual projects a year, including improvements to stadiums, work on mini-pitches and development of spectator facilities.
UEFA’s Football and Social Responsibility schemes have also been helping to spread key messages, with recent initiatives focusing on accessibility awareness and health issues such as the effects of blows to the head on players, and how minor adjustments to training gear and playing attire can transform the experiences of colourblind players and spectators.
The Football Association of Iceland (Knattspyrnusamband Íslands or KSÍ) is founded, and affiliates to FIFA in the same year; football in Iceland previously came under the remit of the Icelandic Sports Federation, which established a national championship in 1912.
The KSÍ is one of the founder members of UEFA.
Laugardalsvöllur Stadium is opened in Reykjavik, becoming the focal point of Icelandic football.
More than 18,000 spectators watch a European Champion Clubs' Cup tie between Valur Reykjavík and Eusébio's SL Benfica at Laugardalsvöllur, a measure of the level of interest in football in Iceland.
One of Iceland’s favourite footballing sons, Ásgeir Sigurvinsson, wins the German Bundesliga title with Stuttgart; having started out at ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar, he played for Standard Liège and Bayern, and then served as Iceland’s sporting director and national team coach after retiring in 1990.
Laugardalsvöllur reopens following extensive renovation with a capacity of just under 10,000.
EIdur Gudjohnsen becomes the first Icelander to get a UEFA Champions League winners medal; he is an unused substitute in Barcelona’s 2-0 win against Manchester United in the final in Rome.
A statue of Icelandic footballing pioneer Albert Gudmundssen is erected outside the KSÍ headquarters; Iceland’s first professional footballer, he played for Arsenal, AC Milan and Nancy in the 1950s, and was later KSÍ president.
National team history
Denmark beat Iceland 3-0 in the nation’s first senior international game; their first win comes the following year, 2-0 against Finland in Reykjavik.
ÍA Akranes player Ríkhardur Jónsson scores all four goals as Iceland record a 4-3 win against Sweden – one of the greatest results in the nation’s history.
Iceland reach a notable low point with a 14-2 defeat against Denmark in Copenhagen.
Iceland’s women lose 3-2 to Scotland in Kilmarnock in their first senior international game on 20 September, Bryndís Einarsdóttir and Ásta Gunnlaugsdóttir scoring the goals.
A 2-0 friendly win against Italy in front of a record crowd of 20,204 at Laugardalsvöllur Stadium in Reykjavik is a sign of Iceland’s ongoing improvement.
Iceland’s women make their senior final tournament debut at UEFA Women’s EURO 2009, but are unable to progress beyond the group stage.
Iceland reach the finals of the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Denmark, the country's first appearance at a major UEFA men's tournament.
Under coach Lars Lagerbäck, a team full of veterans from the 2011 U21 finals takes part in the 2014 FIFA World Cup play-offs, losing out 2-0 on aggregate to Croatia. The same year, Iceland’s women make it to the EURO quarter-finals.
After some superb performances during the qualifying competition, Iceland make their senior competition debut at UEFA EURO 2016; they steal the show, eliminating England before succumbing to hosts France in the quarter-finals.
Iceland compete in their third successive Women’s EURO, before making it four in a row when they qualify for Women’s EURO 2021.
Date of birth: 28 June 1965
Association president since: 2021
Date of birth: 3 June 1969
Association general secretary since: 2015
Football Association of Iceland website