Iceland captain slams 'embarrassing' venue chosen for women's European Championships in England

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Iceland women’s captain Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir slams ’embarrassing’ and ‘disrespectful’ decision for them to have to play two games at 7,000 seater Manchester City Academy Stadium at  the European Championships

  • The European Championships in England get underway on July 6 this summer
  • Iceland will play two games at the Manchester City Academy Stadium 
  • Iceland’s captain has described the choice of venue as ‘disrespectful’ 

Iceland captain Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir has labelled the use of the Manchester City Academy Stadium at the women’s European Championships as ’embarrassing’ and ‘disrespectful’.

The stadium, which hosts Manchester City Women’s games, is the tournament’s smallest ground and will stage three group matches, including Iceland’s fixtures with Belgium and Italy in July.

It holds 7,000 spectators which is a long way short of the largest stadium used in the tournament which is Wembley at 90,000.

Iceland captain Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir is not happy with the choice of stadium chosen for two of their group games at this summer's European Championships in England

Iceland captain Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir is not happy with the choice of stadium chosen for two of their group games at this summer’s European Championships in England

They will have to play two at the 7,000 seater Manchester City Academy Stadium

They will have to play two at the 7,000 seater Manchester City Academy Stadium

Gunnarsdottir, who plays her club football for Lyon, hit out at the decision saying Iceland have not been given the ‘respect they deserve’.

She told the podcast Their Pitch: ‘I am disappointed with the arenas we have been given. 

‘It is shocking – we play a tournament in England with several large arenas, and we get to play at a training facility that takes around 5,000 spectators.

Gunnarsdottir has slammed the decision as 'embarrassing' and 'disrespectful'

Gunnarsdottir has slammed the decision as ’embarrassing’ and ‘disrespectful’

‘It is just embarrassing and it is 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.’

Both of Iceland’s games at the Academy Stadium have already sold out along with a multitude of other games including all of host England’s group stage matches.’

She went on to add that women’s football ‘takes two steps forward and one step back’. 

‘Women’s football takes two steps in the right direction, but then things like this happen and then you take a step back,’ she added.

The Academy Stadium is the smallest venue at this summer's tournament in England while the largest is Wembley (pictured) which will hold the final for the competition on July 31

The Academy Stadium is the smallest venue at this summer’s tournament in England while the largest is Wembley (pictured) which will hold the final for the competition on July 31

‘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.

‘They should 100% reconsider [changing the stadiums]. Because if you look at the reactions and how many people buy tickets and how popular it has become, then you have to reconsider.’

The tournament gets underway on July 6 with England’s opener against Austria, and comes to a conclusion on July 31 at Wembley. 

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