It’s been a tough week for England. First they voted on a referendum to leave the European Union and now the English National Team has been defeated in the UEFA European Championship tournament.
In a stunning upset, England suffered a 2-1 loss to Iceland earlier today. Many are calling it “the worst performances in the history of English football
“. As a result, Iceland will now move forward into the quarterfinals and the English team will be returning home dumbfounded.
- To put the victory into perspective: Iceland has approximately 332,529 inhabitants, a population roughly .6% the size of England.
While it’s a disheartening loss for the English, it is a truly momentous occasion for Icelandic football fans. In 2014, the Icelandic National Team didn’t qualify for the World Cup
; and, before 2010, FIFA didn’t even have them ranked in the Top 100 Nations. Tonight marks the furthest that their team has ever gone in an international competition.
Former Icelandic footballer Halldor Einarsson sat down with The Guardian to discuss what this Euro-team means to the country:
“A few years ago, nobody sang at a football match and until now nobody sang the national anthem, either… This is all beyond anything I thought possible.”