Tag Archives: faroe islands

Faroese football.

Football/soccer is in the air all around the world this summer – especially in Russia. So, sticking to this theme, herewith, a footie-post; but not even a mention of the World Cup…

But, since I was on the Faroe Islands recently, I just had to tell you about their national football team. Though the territory they cover is tiny, their national team, made up exclusively of non-professionals, does rather well against other – professional – national teams.

I was told how they once played Russia’s national team – and the half-time score was… 1:0 to the Faroes! Wait: so, the team of some small islands with a population of around 50,000 – made up of amateurs (i.e., folks who play in their spare time as a hobby, be they postal delivery workers, teachers, mechanics, students…) were at one point beating the national team of the world’s largest country with a population of 140 MILLION?!!

There are more Faroese tales of the unexpected:

From Wikipedia:

The Faroe Islands pulled one of the biggest upsets in footballing history when they beat Austria 1–0 in their first ever competitive international on 12 September 1990. The game, a Euro 92 qualifier, was played in Landskrona, Sweden, because there were no grass pitches on the Islands. Torkil Nielsen, a salesman for his local builders company, scored the goal. 32-year-old national coach Páll Guðlaugsson became a folk hero overnight, and is today remembered by his players as a fearless character who always believed that the Faroe Islands could get a result against the bigger nations. American sports magazine Soccerphile rated the Faroese victory number 10 of the all-time football greatest upsets.

On 9 September 2009, the Faroe Islands recorded their first competitive win since the 2002 World Cup qualification stage after beating Lithuania 2–1.

On 11 August 2010, the Faroe Islands came close to an away win in Estonia during the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers. The Faroes took the lead in the first half with a goal by Jóan Símun Edmundsson. The score was still 1–0 after 90 minutes played, but Estonia scored twice during stoppage time and the Faroe Islands lost the match 2–1.

On our stroll around the Faroese capital, in among houses with grass growing on their roofs, we came across another patch of grass, which turned out to be the football pitch of the national side!

In fact, there are two pitches side-by-side:

In total, I counted four football pitches on the islands. That is, one per every 12,000 inhabitants. Just to compare: to match such a football-pitches-per-capita in Moscow, the city – officially of around 12 million – would need a full 1000 pitches! That is, 20 times more than today’s 48 stadiums in the Russian capital!

Btw: that there pitch you can see is the very one on which the Faroe Islands were one-up against Russia at half time! ➡

That’s all for today folks. Back soon!…

Up we goes, in a chopper above the Faroes.

Hej folks!

You’ve seen what the Faroe Islands look like down on the ground. Now, let’s have a look at them from up above in a helicopter.

Hardly any words today folks; just a ton of oh-my-green-and-glorious pics for your viewing pleasure…

This is the north-western edge of the islands; the best pics were taken in the morning – against the sun. But I think a sunset view of these parts needs to be checked too. That will have to be for another day though.

Off flies our ride! But he promised to return a while later…

Oh how I wanted to get up some of those clearly volcanic peaks for trek/climb in such clear and beautiful weather. Maybe I will one day…

Stroll time – on the westernmost island of the Faroes – Mykines.

I like paths; walked a great many; but I can’t recall one with views all around as breathtaking as this one!

‘Faroe’, btw, means ~’sheep island’ in Faroese. Well, as I can vouch personally, nothing’s changed in thousands of years!…

This is the westernmost point of the westernmost island of the Faroes. Further west: Iceland, then Greenland, then Canada…

In closing – a few words about the Faroese climate.

Though my first impressions were positive, it does turn out that the internet doesn’t tell lies: the weather here is pretty darn awful generally. We were just very lucky: a full day of bright sunshine is very much a rarity here. More often than not it’s rainy, foggy, windy, murky and bleak.

(Btw – those are birds up in the sky; we didn’t see a single mosquito)

Rainbow!

Windy, as per usual:

So if ever you’re heading here – take some good weather with you. Otherwise…

PS: the hotel we stayed at was wonderful. Highly recommend: the Foroyar. The food was outstanding.

Cattle sheep grid!:

Grassy roof!

Kunst in the rooms…

…And in the restaurant:

And that, folks, is it from the fair Faroes. Gotta get back here and get some trekking in. If only there was a season when it didn’t rain…

All the photos from the Faroe Islands are here.