Iceland is by far the smallest nation ever to qualify for the World Cup, with a population of just 340,000. The second smallest nation to compete this year is Uruguay with a population of 3.4 million. To help swell the ranks of their supporters and in the spirit of inclusivity, Iceland is calling on other nations to join Team Iceland, a digital fan club where people can sign up to show their support and learn more about the country of Iceland.
The US won’t be represented at the World Cup this year and according to a recent survey, 31% of Americans say that they are willing to support the ‘dark horse’ Iceland. The survey, conducted in six countries, asked participants if they would consider supporting Iceland when not playing against their own national team.
Anyone can join Team Iceland for free and members could win the chance to fly to Iceland to watch their first match against Argentina. Members will also get their Icelandic name and a special squad number on a digital jersey, that can be ordered for real and worn with pride from the first day of the World Cup.
Team Iceland aims to support and encourage the national team ahead of their first match against soccer superpower Argentina, and to celebrate this historic moment in Iceland’s sporting history. Iceland’s national team coach Heimir Hallgrímsson backs the initiative, he said: “The team and I are focused on winning games and we are grateful for any sign of support out there. It has been inspiring to see how many people relate to our journey to the World Cup.”
Team Iceland has been growing steadily since spring and now has around 30,000 members from 168 countries all over the world. The Icelandic President, Mr. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and the First Lady Mrs. Eliza Reid, are also backing the initiative. They officially launched Team Iceland in March with a video of themselves enjoying a friendly kick about in their dining room.
To pledge your support for Iceland and Team Iceland visit: teamiceland.com