Iceland ace Gunnarsdottir ‘disappointed’ by Euros venue chosen for her national team’s group stage duels

SARA BJORK GUNNARSDOTTIR slammed Euros organisers’ decision to hold two of Iceland’s group games at Manchester City’s Academy Stadium.

The Lyon star described the choice to field her nation’s clashes with Belgium and Italy at the ground as “disrespectful”.

Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir (right) believes Euros organisers were not prepared for Iceland’s matches selling more than 4,000 ticketsCredit: Getty

The Academy Stadium, which is the home of City’s WSL side, is one of nine English venues set to host Euros fixtures this July.

The ground, which also hosts matches for the Citizens’ senior academy sides, has a capacity of 7,000.

And the Iceland international reckons contest coordinators “should 100 per cent reconsider” their decision given the fast rate of ticket sales for fixtures.

Earlier today it was revealed all the tickets for Iceland’s games against Belgium and Italy had been purchased.

And Uefa confirmed tickets for the Women’s Euros finals at Wembley have also sold out completely

Gunnardottir, 31, told Their Pitch Podcast: “It’s shocking.

“Playing in England there are so many stadiums, and we have a training ground from City taking what, 4,000 spectators.

“It’s embarrassing. It’s not the respect (we deserve). Watch women’s football today, they are filling out the stadiums.

“You see Barcelona and Madrid, 95,000 watching the game (at the Nou Camp).

“They (Euros organisers) are not prepared that we will sell more tickets than 4,000.

“It’s disrespectful towards women’s football because it’s so much bigger than people think.

“You think women’s football is getting two steps ahead but then something comes up like that it’s just a step back.

Other Euros venues include Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium and Manchester United’s Old Trafford home which have capacities of 73,200 and 31,600.

Uefa says tickets for England’s group stage clashes with Austria, Norway and Northern Ireland have sold out entirely.

The Lionesses’ opening fixture against Austria will take place at Old Trafford with their remaining group games to be held at Brighton’s Amex home and St Mary’s.

With some some women’s matches seeing a growth in fan attendance this season, Gunnarsdottir believes the venue for her team’s Euros group games should be reviewed.

Her comments come three weeks after Barcelona smashed the crowd attendance record for a women’s club game.

A total of 91,553 turned up to watch their Champions League second leg 5-2 trouncing of Real Madrid.

Iceland are set to play Italy and Belgium at the Academy Stadium in two of their Women's Euros group games

Iceland are set to play Italy and Belgium at the Academy Stadium in two of their Women’s Euros group gamesCredit: PA:Press Association

Gunnarsdottir, who has 136 senior international caps, added: “They should 100% reconsider it because of the reaction and just see how fast tickets are going.”

“I don’t know what’s going on in their heads or even if they follow women’s football.

“If you did, it’s common sense, just follow women’s football today it’s exploding. It’s getting so much better.”


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