Greenland national football team

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Polar-Bamserne
(The Polar Teddy Bears)
Association Grønlands Boldspil-Union
Confederation ConIFA
Head coach Rene Olsen & Tekle Ghrebrelul[1]
Captain Niklas Kreutzmann
Home stadium Nuuk Stadium
FIFA code GRL (not official)
First colours
Second colours
Elo ranking
Current 196 Steady (15 March 2018)[2]
Highest 186 (July 1980)
Lowest 203 (June 1993)
First international
 Faroe Islands 6–0 Greenland Greenland
(Sauðárkrókur, Iceland; 2 July 1980)
Biggest win
Greenland Greenland 16–0 Sark 
(St Martin's, Guernsey, Channel Islands; 1 July 2003)
Biggest defeat
 Faroe Islands 6–0 Greenland Greenland
(Sauðárkrókur, Iceland; 2 July 1980)
Guernsey Guernsey 6–0 Greenland Greenland
(Stromness, West Burra, Shetland; 13 July 2005)
 Menorca 6–0 Greenland Greenland
(Åland Islands; 29 June 2009)
Isle of Man Isle of Man 6–0 Greenland Greenland
(Visby; 30 June 2017)

The Greenland national football team represents Greenland in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Greenland. Although it has the same status as the Faroe Islands within the Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland is not, like the Faroe Islands national football team, a member of FIFA nor of any continental confederation and therefore is not eligible to enter the World Cup or other sanctioned tournaments. Most of the matches they have played have been against the Faroe Islands and Iceland, but neither of the two consider those games full internationals.


Greenland is a member of the International Island Games Association and has taken part in Football at the Island Games. Since 13 October 2005, it is a provisional member of the N.F.-Board and since 25 March 2006 it is full-member. On 17 October 2009 the team was accepted as a provisional member of the IFU. Greenland also played Tibet, another non-FIFA team, in 2001 at Copenhagen's Vanlose Arena. However, the team was composed of players who were of Tibetan heritage and not from Tibet themselves. The match drew international attention when China threatened to embargo Greenland's shrimp exports because of Tibet's contested sovereignty. Greenland won the match 4–1.[3][4]

Island Games[edit]

Year Round Position GP W D L GS GA
Faroe Islands 1989 Fourth place 4th 4 1 0 3 4 −8
Åland Islands 1991 Round 1 8th 4 0 0 4 8 −15
Isle of Wight 1993 Fourth place 4th 4 2 0 2 1 −6
Gibraltar 1995 Fourth place 4th 5 2 0 3 10 −10
Jersey 1997 Round 1 9th 4 0 1 3 3 −9
Gotland 1999 Quarterfinals 8th 5 2 0 3 11 −19
Isle of Man 2001 Round 1 9th 4 2 1 1 6 −2
Guernsey 2003 Round 1 10th 2 3 0 2 22 −5
Shetland 2005 Round 1 8th 5 1 2 2 8 −14
Rhodes 2007
Did not enter
Åland Islands 2009 Round 1 9th 4 1 0 3 8 −15
Isle of Wight 2011 Round 1 11th 4 1 0 3 5 −7
Bermuda 2013 Runners-up 2nd 5 2 0 3 21 −5
Jersey 2015 Play-offs 5th 4 3 1 0 8 −4
Gotland 2017 Runners-up 2nd 5 3 1 1 7 −9

  Champion   Runners-up   3rd Place

**Red border color indicates the tournament was held at home.
Nuuk Stadium, Greenland's current national stadium, after installation of artificial turf

FIFI Wild Cup participation[edit]

Greenland participated in the 2006 FIFI Wild Cup. The team played two games and lost both, the first 0–1 against the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the second 2–4 against Zanzibar. They were eliminated in the First Round.

ELF Cup participation[edit]

Greenland was eliminated in Round 1 of the ELF Cup. They played three matches in total, beating the national team of Gagauzia 2–0, drawing 1–1 with Zanzibar and losing 1–0 to Kyrgyzstan.

Future international participation[edit]

Typical playing surfaces in Greenland, such as this one in Ilulissat, do not meet FIFA regulations.
However, pitches like these ones with artificial turf are becoming more common.

Greenland has been seeking to participate in confederated football since at least 1998 when then national team manager Sepp Piontek stated that he had already asked UEFA to look into the possibility of Greenland becoming a member of the organization.[5] About the issue, former DBU president Allan Hansen stated, "Concerning the GBU, I’m not convinced [they] officially applied for FIFA and UEFA membership at around the same time as Gibraltar. As I’m informed, the GBU in the late nineties sent a letter [requesting clarification on a number of issues] but..there were no follow-up actions." Additionally, he stated, "I can’t foretell what will happen in the future, but I have attended a meeting with UEFA, DBU and GBU and I'm convinced that the day DBU and GBU present a partnership agreement and a road-map for the development of Greenlandic football, UEFA will be ready to discuss options for supporting the development of Greenlandic football as well as football on an administrative level."[6] However, another report from 2010 states that an application was submitted but other factors such as the admittance of former Soviet and Yugoslav nations made for bad timing of the application.[7]

FIFA's approval of FieldTurf may allow Greenland to create FIFA-standard playing pitches and apply to play full internationals. They would join either UEFA (due to links with Denmark) or CONCACAF (geographically, Greenland is part of North America). The first artificial turf in Greenland was completed and inaugurated in Qaqortoq in September 2009. On 13 September 2010, FIFA president Sepp Blatter arrived in Qaqortoq, Greenland, and announced FIFA's approval of the new field, which is seen as a major step towards the country being granted FIFA membership.[8]

In 2011, Allan Hansen, chairman of the Danish Football Association stated that he did not believe that Greenland had the opportunity to become a member of FIFA or a confederation immediately. However, in December 2014 the DBU and Greenland's GBU formed a partnership with the aim of having Greenland included as a UEFA and FIFA member by 2020. One of the greatest barriers to admittance at that time was FIFA's strict regulations on stadiums and playing surfaces. The DBU's support of a Greenlandic application to FIFA included financial support which would be used to replace the clay courts of at least one field in each of the country's four municipalities, with artificial turf. Additionally, it was announced in May 2015 the national government had allocated one million dollars to design a plan for the construction of a new covered national stadium in Nuuk.[9] The intentions of the plan were to design a covered and heated facility that would have a capacity of several thousand spectators, with the plan to be presented to the Parliament of Greenland later in the autumn session of 2016.[10] Although unrelated to the stadium proposal, the first artificial pitch was laid in Nuuk, the country's capital, in June 2015[11] and at the national stadium in July 2016.[12]

Before becoming a member of FIFA, Greenland would be required to be a member of a continental confederation. However, UEFA now requires new members to be recognized by the United Nations as fully independent. Another possibility would be for Greenland to join CONCACAF as it is geographically closer to North America and the confederation allows dependent territories to join as new members.[13]

It was believed that UEFA would vote to change its membership requirements at the 41st Annual Congress held in Helsinki, Finland so that they were more in line with those of FIFA which allows non-independent states under certain conditions. At that time DBU chair Allan Hansen said, "Greenland is in a pre-membership stage right now. I'm a lot more optimistic than I was five years ago." At that time, GBU chair John Thorsen expected that if UEFA changes its membership requirement, Greenland could have an application together by 2020.[14] However, after the UEFA Congress, no mention of a rule change was made.[15]

New National Stadium[edit]


Greenland's current kit is provided by Spanish sportswear company Kelme.[16]

Current squad[edit]

The following 20 players were called up by Rene Olsen and Tekle Ghrebrelul for the 2015 Island Games.[17]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Club
1GK Loke Svane (1982-11-03) 3 November 1982 (age 35) Greenland B-67
1GK Malik Hermarij Greenland Inuit Timersoqatigiiffiat-79

2DF Aputsiaq Birch (1985-06-04) 4 June 1985 (age 33) Greenland B-67
2DF Niels Svane Greenland FC Malamuk
2DF Nukannguaq Zeeb Greenland G-44 Qeqertarsuaq

3MF Anders H. Petersen (1981-03-06) 6 March 1981 (age 37) Greenland B-67
3MF Norsaq Lund Mathæussen Greenland B-67
3MF Maasi Maqe (1987-11-02) 2 November 1987 (age 30) Greenland B-67
3MF Kaassannguaq Zeeb (1985-12-10) 10 December 1985 (age 32) Greenland Inuit Timersoqatigiiffiat-79

4FW Johan Bidstrup Greenland B-67
4FW John Ludvig Broberg Greenland B-67
4FW Frederik Funch Greenland B-67
4FW Malik Juhl (1989-06-18) 18 June 1989 (age 29) Greenland B-67
4FW Kaali Lund Mathæussen (1988-01-01) 1 January 1988 (age 30) Greenland Nagdlunguaq-48

Lars Peter Broberg Greenland B-67
Lars Erik Reimer Greenland Nagdlunguaq-48
Katu Madsen Greenland Siumut Amerdlok Kunuk
Søren Kreutzmann Greenland Siumut Amerdlok Kunuk
Nikki Petersen Greenland B-67
Hans Karl Berthelsen Greenland Inuit Timersoqatigiiffiat-79


Greenland national team in Northern Cyprus
Manager Year (s)
Greenland Niels Møller 1977
Greenland Uvdlo Jakobsen
Greenland Elisaeus Kreutzmann
Greenland Lars Lundblad 1984
Greenland Simon Simonsen 1989
Greenland Isak Nielsen Kleist 1993–1995
Greenland Ulf Abrahamsen 1996
Greenland Lars Olsvig
Greenland Jens Jorgen Egede
Germany Sepp Piontek 1999–2002
Denmark Jens Tang Olesen
Greenland Kristian Lyberth
Germany Sepp Piontek 2004
Denmark Jens Tang Olesen
Greenland Hans Frederik Olsen
Greenland Tonnes Berthelsen
Greenland René Olsen
Greenland René Olsen
Eritrea[18]Tekre Ghebrelul



  1. ^ Hansen, Nukappiaaluk. "Country coaches in football for A-national teams for men and women has taken teams to the Island Games in 2015, which takes place in Jersey" (in Danish). Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings". World Football Elo Ratings. 15 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018. 
  3. ^ Knox, Tomos. "The unlikely success story of football on the massive island of Greenland". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  4. ^ Thomsen, Per Bech. "Defiant Greenland will play Tibet". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  5. ^ Burton, Mark. "Football: Greenland presses for recognition". Independent. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  7. ^ "Grønlands dyre stadionprojekt er genvej til Fifa-familien". Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  8. ^ Haydon, John (14 September 2010). "FIFA gives blessing to Greenland's new soccer venue". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 22 July 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  9. ^ Krarup, Poul. "Nyt parløb skal bringe Grønland ind i Uefa-familien" (in Danish). Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Første skridt mod et nationalt stadion i Nuuk" (in Danish). Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Første kunstgræsbane i Nuuk klar til indvielse" (in Danish). Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Kunstgræsbanen klar til indvielse" (in Danish). Sermitsiaq. Retrieved 10 July 2016. 
  13. ^ Homewood, Brian. "Danish FA supports Greenland's bid to join UEFA, FIFA". Reuters. Retrieved 10 July 2016. 
  14. ^ McGwin, Kevin. "Greenland could soon be a step closer to joining the world of international soccer". Arctic Now. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  15. ^ "UEFA Congress approves Good Governance reforms". UEFA. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  16. ^ "KELME Catálogo Team 2015–16". Kelme. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  17. ^ Hansen, Nukappiaaluk. "Landsholdsspillerne i fodbold for kvinder og herrer er udtaget". Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Grønlandske fodboldspillere på græs for første gang" (in Danish). Retrieved 8 June 2015. 

External links[edit]