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, 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.