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Iceland fans launch petition to have first names on back of Euro 2016 shirts

February 16th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Fans in little Iceland, who will be participating in their first major tournament this summer in France, have launched an online petition asking the KSI (Icelandic FA) and kit partners Errea to honour the country’s naming traditions by having players’ first names on the back of jerseys instead of having surnames like most other countries at the Championships.

Iceland follows the patronymic naming system, meaning that children’s surnames would reflect that they are the son/daughters of their fathers. By and large, there are no family names used, and everyone in the country is generally known by their first name (a well known exception to this is Eidur Gudjohnsen, the former Barcelona & Chelsea striker, who goes by his family name)

For example, Gylfi Sigurdsson’s name indicates that he is Gylfi, son of Sigurdur. Should the former Tottenham midfielder have a son, the latter’s surname would be Gylfason. If he has a daughter, her surname would be Gylfadottir

Phone books in Iceland are sorted alphabetically by first name and not by last name as it is done in most other countries.

Iceland Squad Names

Some of the names in the current Iceland national squad

Iceland, with a population of just around 3,00,000, beat the Netherlands home and away in a memorable campaign to qualify automatically for Euro 2016. At the Championships, they will be along with Portugal, Hungary and Austria in Group A and will definitely fancy their chances of making it to the knockout stages.

They also came mighty close to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but lost to Croatia in a two legged playoff.

Folks interested can sign the petition here (link at Ipetitions in Icelandic).

At the time of writing this article, the petition had already attracted more than 750 signatories.

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  1. TheKitCritic
    February 17th, 2016 at 15:40 | #1

    This is interesting, did not know this about Iceland. I think that it would be interesting to see this happen-it would show the different cultures on display at Euro 2016

  2. Drew Peacock
    February 17th, 2016 at 21:39 | #2

    Come on UEFA show some ‘respect’ and let them go with their tradition.
    Born in 1995! But … But that was yesterday_____:-(

  3. Paulie
    February 18th, 2016 at 12:38 | #3

    This has to be done.

  4. Sean
    February 18th, 2016 at 17:06 | #4

    The first names are shorter than the surnames, so it’ll be easier to print on the back 🙂

  5. Tsedeke Asaminew
    February 23rd, 2016 at 23:18 | #5

    @Sean
    It is similar tradition in Ethiopia. My name is Tsedeke Asaminew. I go with my first name. My son’s name is Markon Tsedeke. Also, wives keep their name and there is no family name.

  6. bigg
    February 24th, 2016 at 10:32 | #6

    stick watever name you want on the back of a jersey as long as its not deemed offensive.