an OL player complains about too small stadiums


Interviewed by the Their Pitch podcast, Olympique Lyonnais player Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir attacked the organizers of the Women’s Euro which will take place next summer (July 6-31). The Icelandic regrets that the stadiums which will host the competition cannot accommodate more supporters.

The Women’s Football Euro has not yet started and is already being talked about. In any case, Lyonnaise Sara Bjork Gunnardsottir has decided to attack the organizers of the competition which will take place from July 6 to 31 in England. The Icelandic player, who will notably face the France team in group D, denounced the organization of matches in certain stadiums, which are too small for her taste.

Its first two matches, against Belgium and Italy, Iceland will indeed play them in the Manchester City Academy Stadium, one of the grounds present in the Manchester City training complex. A lawn used by the women’s section of the English club in the league and which can only accommodate 4,700 supporters.

Old Trafford will only host the opening game

« It’s shocking. In England, there are plenty of stadiums and we’re going to play in a City training center with what, 4,000 people, complained Gunnardsottir in the Their Pitch podcast. It’s not the respect we deserve. (…) I don’t know what is going through the organizers’ minds, or even if they are watching women’s football. »

The Manchester City Academy Stadium is the smallest enclosure of this Euro 2022. Eight other stadiums will be mobilized for the competition including Old Trafford (73,000 seats), which will only host the opening match between England and Austria . The biggest stadium of this Euro, apart from that of Manchester United, is St Mary’s Stadium (31,600 seats).

« It’s disrespectful to women’s football »

Far from enough for Gunnardsottir. « Look at the women’s matches today. The stadiums are full like in Barcelona or Madrid », explains the OL player, who refers to the Clasico which took place at the Camp Nou at the end of March, with 91,500 people present in the stands. « The organizers (of the Euro, editor’s note) are only ready to sell 4,000 places », regrets the Icelandic.

« It’s disrespectful to women’s football. You feel like women’s football is taking two steps forward, but then something happens and you take a step back, » Gunnardsottir said. In any case, ticket sales seem to prove the OL player right: all the places for England’s matches for the group stage and those for the final, which will take place at Wembley, have already found takers. .

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