Hardly dazzling during his time in Nantes (2015-2019), Icelandic international striker Kolbeinn Sigthórsson is talking about him again beyond the borders of his country, for very bad reasons. The 31-year-old is accused of violence and sexual harassment by a young woman. He was suspended Friday by his club IFK Göteborg in Sweden “pending an internal investigation”.
“Due to recent events, Kolbeinn Sigthórsson will not participate until further notice in training, matches and other activities of the A team,” said in a statement the club where he arrived this summer, from his rival, AIK Stockholm. “An internal investigation is in progress to determine the continuation for the IFK Göteborg as employer and for Kolbeinn on a personal basis”, specifies the text.
Icelandic selection frame
Passed in particular by the FCN and Ajax Amsterdam, the player has been in recent years one of the executives of the Iceland team (64 caps, 26 goals, including two at Euro 2016). Co-top scorer of the team, he had been dismissed in recent days following these accusations.
Last Friday, Thórhildur Gyda Arnarsdóttir, a 25-year-old Icelandic girl, told public television RUV that she had lodged a complaint after being the victim of violence and sexual harassment by a member of the national team, during a night out at a club night in Reykjavik in September 2017. The case was closed by a payment from the player.
Sigthórsson was quickly named by the Icelandic media as the player in question, before speaking publicly on Wednesday in a statement.
Federation leaders have resigned
The case immediately shook Icelandic football, the federation having been criticized for its passivity at the time, and having claimed, despite evidence to the contrary, not to have been aware of the facts. The president of the federation, Gudni Bergsson, had initially tendered his resignation on Sunday evening, followed by the entire executive committee 24 hours later.
Wednesday, via his lawyer, the player had said in a statement “to regret the behavior that[il] could have had at the time ”. “I did not admit that I harassed them or used violence and I denied my guilt. On the other hand, my behavior was not exemplary and I apologized for it, ”he explained. “I repented, assumed my responsibilities and was ready to seek reconciliation. They asked for an apology and financial compensation, which I accepted, ”according to the player’s version.
Supporters of IFK Göteborg had called for his sidelining, deploying several banners at the club’s training center on the night of Wednesday to Thursday.