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Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir reacts to the European Championship arenas: "It's embarrassing"


Iceland will play two of their group matches during the European Championships in an arena that seats 7,000 spectators. This is something that makes the star Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir express her frustration on the podcast Their Pitch. 

- It is just disrespectful to women's football, she says. 

Foto: Bildbyrån

This summer's big highlight revolves around the European Championships in England. A championship that is expected to be the biggest ever in women’s football to this date.  With less than three months left until kick-off, seven matches have already sold out. Among these, the final at Wembley which holds 90,000 spectators. 

Iceland will play its fourth European Championship ever and two of the nation's group matches have already sold out. The matches will be played at Manchester City Academy Stadium - an arena that only holds 4,700. 

This is something that makes the Icelandic star, Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir, frustrated.  

- I am disappointed with the arenas we have been given. It's shocking - we play a tournament in England with several large arenas, and we get to play at a training facility that takes what 4,000 spectators. It's just embarrassing and it's not the respect we deserve. They haven’t prepared for the fact that we can sell more than 4,000, it is disrespectful to women's football, she says in Their Pitch. 

Björk Gunnarsdottir believes that the record match in the Champions League quarter-final between Barcelona and Real Madrid is a clear example of the emergence of women's football. And that the championships get bigger and better year after year when it comes to almost everything, but that this is a step backwards. 

- Women's football takes two steps in the right direction, but then things like this happen and then you take a step back. But matches will be played in larger arenas that I'm sure will sell out. Women's football explodes and you start to get the respect you deserve. It's getting better - more money is being pumped in now and it's going in the right direction. But there are still things that need to improve. 

You would never put a championship match on a training ground for men, why do you think that that happens when it comes to women’s football? 
- I would love to know the answer. You wonder if they even follow women's football because it's common sense. It's just stupid to talk about because it's unreasonable and frustrating. 

Tickets for the matches have sold out so fast that family members have had a hard time getting tickets to the championship. 

- It would probably have come over 20,000 from Iceland to watch the matches. But family members are struggling to get tickets because they sold out as soon as they dropped.  

Do you think that the matches should be moved to larger arenas?
- They should 100 percent reconsider. Because if you look at the reactions and how many people buy tickets and how popular it has become - then you have to reconsider.  

Publicerad 2022-04-19 kl 05:45
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