As NRK understands, the Icelandic association must have decided that Åge Hareide was the right person to lead the team through continuous qualification in the EC ticket race.
NRK was not yet able to get a comment from Hareide on Thursday evening.
Hareide previously coached the Norwegian and Danish national teams, and worked as an NRK expert during the soccer World Cup this winter.
First game in June
Iceland have opened their European Championship qualification with a loss to Bosnia and a 7-0 win over Liechtenstein. That gave them 4th place in their group. After the last game, Arnar Vidarsson was sacked.
As well as Bosnia and Liechtenstein, Portugal, Slovakia and Luxembourg are included in the Icelandic group. Hareide got off to a rocky start to his Iceland career with home matches against Slovakia and Portugal in June.
– This is, of course, a difficult decision, but we believe that it is correct and necessary. Arnar has done a lot of good, and he deserves credit for the work he does in often difficult conditions. We have now started work to find a replacement, Icelandic football president Vanda Sigurgeirsdottir said in a statement.
Now this replacement must exist.
Iceland, who wowed the world when they reached the 2016 European Championships and the 2018 World Cup, have endured a difficult few years since their success. They had not managed to qualify for either the previous European Championships or the World Cup, and have dropped to 64th place in the FIFA rankings. Five years ago they ranked at their best when they climbed to 18th place.
Hareide has a long and meritorious coaching career behind him and is now making a comeback as a football coach. When he left the Rosenborg job in 2021 he announced he was finished, but in 2022 he returned when another club he had previously managed, Sweden’s Malmö, called.
Now he’s back at the zoo – this time as coach of the Icelandic national team. Iceland will be his third job as national team coach.
Sunnmøringen has a wealth of experience as national team coach before: From 2003 to 2008 he was manager of the Norwegian national team, while from 2015 to 2020 he was national team coach for Denmark. He led them, among other things, during WC in Russia in 2018.
The 69-year-old has previously managed the likes of Molde, Viking, Helsingborg and Brøndby, in addition to the aforementioned Rosenborg and Malmö.
This is also not the first time Iceland has tried to hire Hareide as national team manager: In et VG Interview in 2021, where he spoke about the decision to quit, he spoke about the offer to lead the Icelandic national team.
Then it’s irrelevant. Now.
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