Soccer is not a religion in Island


In Island (Iceland) football (soccer) is not a religion; its much more important than that. Just like hockey in Canada. Particularly Winnipeg. The entire country was mad about their time. The team consisted of blue collar workers and in their first game played a football giant in Argentina a team filled with highly paid professionals. The Island team was coached by a dentist. When in the first game, the team tied Argentina the country went mad with excitement. It was said that 99% of the people in Island watched the game. Business ground to a halt in favor of passion.



We arrived in a small town of Siglufjödur in Island as the second World Cup Football (soccer) match was underway. The local community club bar was jammed to the rafters with avid fans. It reminded me of Jet hockey fans. Fueled by passion.  Fans as fanatics in other words. Every chance their team got to score was met with jubilation, until the team failed to score. The fans like religious zealots  never lost hope right to the dying seconds of the game, even though It appeared to me the team no longer had a chance.

This fan could not stand the excitement and went out for  smoke. She hid her cigarette behind her back when she consented to me photographing her.

The third game was against Croatia another powerful team. We watched the game at another town in the bar of our hotel in Hellisholum Island .We wondered if the name meant Hell hole. it didn’t.  A contingent of locals including children showed up to cheer on their team, but again Island lost.  For awhile enthusiasm was contagious.

In the end we sang the team song even though Island lost. The feeling was they had lost gallantly. I know the fans were gallant losers. Our bus driver had to leave immediately after the game he was so upset. Sometimes its tough to be a fan.

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