The Iceland worldwide Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir has branded using the Manchester City Academy Stadium as a venue for the European Championship this summer season as “disrespectful” to girls’s soccer.
The stadium, which hosts Manchester City Women’s video games, is the match’s smallest floor and can stage three group matches, together with Iceland’s fixtures with Belgium and Italy in July.
Gunnarsdóttir instructed the Their Pitch podcast: “I’m a little bit disappointed with some of the stadiums that we got. It’s shocking. You’re playing in England, you have so many stadiums, and we have a training ground from City. It’s just embarrassing. Women’s football today, they’re filling out the stadiums. If you see Barcelona against Real Madrid, we have 95,000 [official attendance was 91,533] watching the game.
“They are not prepared for that, that we will sell more tickets than 4,000. It’s disrespectful towards women’s football at this stage because it’s so much bigger than people think. But there will be games in big stadiums and I’m pretty sure they’re going to be sold out.”
Organisers revealed on Tuesday that eight matches have now offered out, together with each of Iceland’s contests on the City Academy Stadium. All of England’s group matches are sellouts, with the opening sport towards Austria at Old Trafford on 6 July the most recent to hit capability.
Gunnarsdóttir has urged a rethink. “I don’t know what’s going on in their heads or if they’re even following women’s football,” the Lyon midfielder stated. “Because if you would, it’s just common sense. Women’s football’s exploding, it’s getting so much better, and it’s just stupid to speak about it because it doesn’t even make sense.
“They should 100% reconsider it, because I think you see the reaction and how fast the tickets are going and how popular it is, they have to reconsider their decision.”