Seven Reasons to Cheer For Iceland

Are you looking for Seven Reasons to Cheer For Iceland? Iceland National team advanced to the Euro Cup quarterfinals with a historic win over England. First time qualifiers for the tournament, Iceland was a big underdog against the heavily favored English team. But as Leicester proved, strange things can happen in the sport of futbol.

Iceland not only won, but they did it with lots of style points. Their task doesn’t get any easier as they play host France next on Sunday. But, based on recent performances, they have a fighting chance, and there are lots of reasons to cheer them on. Below are a few.

Seven Reasons Iceland Deserves Your Cheers

  1. The Iceland Slow Clap.

Players and fans of Iceland unite in a cheer post game that many thought to have its origination with Vikings’ chants. With hands over head, players and fans begin to clap them followed by the exclamation, “Huh!” With an increasingly menacing pace, the claps increase in frequency before culminating in everyone cheering at the end. it was revealed that the Scottish club Motherwell uses a similar chant and perhaps influenced this one. Whatever the case, it’s a fun cheer that gets everyone involved.

2. Iceland’s assistant coach is a Dentist

When not installing crown and filling cavities, Heimir Hallgrimsson serves as Icelandic national team’s Assistant Coach. He will take over the Head Coach role at the conclusion of the Euro Cup Tournament. For many of the players, soccer is a part-time job. The goalkeeper is a film director and one of the strikers works at a gas station during the off-season.


3. One in 2,000 Icelanders are on the National Team

With only 332,529 inhabitants of Iceland, a significant percentage are involved with the futbol team. Iceland is the smallest nation to ever qualify for the Euro Cup. It’s population is less than one/200th of England’s. For at least a couple of the Euro’s games, the TV audience in Iceland for the games has been at 99.9 percent share. Iceland is about the size of the state of Ohio.

How the Iceland futbol team was selected image
From Icelandic Football Twitter account

4. Iceland is excited about Their Team

Icelanders have good cause to be excited about their team. Perhaps no one better exemplified that than Gudmundur Benediktsson’s, whose reaction to Iceland’s win over Austria, was heartfelt and emotional. Check it out.

Iceland’s Win Over Austria — The Last Score

5. Iceland Fans Travel Well

About 8% of the population of Iceland is estimated to be in France for the Euros. Think about that. There’s a loyal fan base.

Find out More about Iceland’s Fans Courtesy of Turkish Airlines

6. Cheer on your SSON’s and SSEN’s

Note how the Iceland’s players all have names that end with sson or ssen? Why? There are no surnames in the country. Icelanders’s last names come from their father’s (or mother’s) first name with the addition of daughter or son at the end. Listen closely during the broadcasts.

7. You Gotta Love Iceland!

Here are some reasons why:

a.) The Icelandic Naming Committee must approve of babies’ first names that previously haven’t been used. See more interesting Iceland facts at Landlopers.

b.) Iceland is home to one of the world’s first democracies which was established in 930.

c.) There are no mosquitoes in Iceland.

d.) Iceland’s revenues from whale watching exceeds its revenue from the whaling industry.

e.) Bjork! ‘Nuff said!

We’ll be slow clapping along with the Icelanders this Sunday.


Thanks to reader Justin Williams for suggesting this story!