Greenland national football team

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Greenland
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Polar-Bamserne
(The Polar Teddy Bears)
AssociationKalaallit Arsaattartut Kattuffiat (KAK)
Head coachMorten Rutkjær
CaptainNukannguaq Zeeb
Most capsAnders H. Petersen (24)
Top scorer Norsaq Lund Mathæussen (9)
Home stadiumNuuk Stadium
FIFA codeGRL
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Faroe Islands 6–0 Greenland 
(Sauðárkrókur, Iceland; 2 July 1980)
Biggest win
 Greenland 16–0 Sark 
(Saint Martin, Guernsey; 1 July 2003)
Biggest defeat
 Faroe Islands 6–0 Greenland 
(Sauðárkrókur, Iceland; 2 July 1980)
 Greenland 0–6 Guernsey 
(Stromness, Shetland; 13 July 2005)
 Menorca 6–0 Greenland 
(Sund, Åland; 29 June 2009)
 Isle of Man 6–0 Greenland 
(Visby, Gotland; 30 June 2017)

The Greenland national football team represents Greenland in non-FIFA international tournaments. It is controlled by the Football Association of Greenland.[2] Although it has the same status as the Faroe Islands within the Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland is not, unlike 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. The Greenland national team are aiming to join FIFA in the near future.[3][when?]

Overview[edit]

The Football Association of Greenland was founded in 1971 to oversee the development of football in the territory, although an island-wide club championship had been held regularly since 1954. Greenland played its first international match on 2 July 1980 against another Danish territory, the Faroe Islands, losing 6–0. The match was played in Sauðárkrókur in Iceland as part of the Greenland Cup, a friendly tournament. In their second match on 3 July, Greenland played the hosts and full FIFA members Iceland in Húsavík, losing 4–1, finishing third in the tournament.

Three years later, they hosted the second Greenland Cup, however the 1983 format consisted of a single match between Greenland and the Faroe Islands to determine the winner. Played on 29 June in Nuuk, the match finished 0–0. Therefore, a few days later, on 3 July the match was replayed, this time ending in a 3–2 victory for the Faroese.

The third and final Greenland Cup was played in the Faroe Islands in 1984, and saw Iceland's return to the competition. In their opening match on 3 August, Greenland were narrowly defeated 1–0 by Iceland in Fuglafjørður. Two days later, they were once again defeated 1–0 by the Faroe Islands in Klaksvík, and finished third in the tournament as in 1980. Shortly after the tournament, they played a friendly match against the Faroese on 7 August in Tórshavn, they lost 4–2.

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 Vanløse 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.[4][5]

Greenland have an annual tournament called the Greenlandic Football Championship. The national team players compete in this tournament.

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.[6] 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."[7] 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.[8]

FIFA's approval of FieldTurf may allow Greenland to create FIFA-standard playing pitches and apply to play full internationals. 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 and announced FIFA's approval of the new field, which is seen as a major step towards the country being granted FIFA membership.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11] Although unrelated to the stadium proposal, the first artificial pitch was laid in Nuuk, the country's capital, in June 2015[12] and at the national stadium in July 2016.[13]

Before becoming a member of FIFA, Greenland would be required to be a member of a continental confederation. The most viable solutions would be to join UEFA or CONCACAF due to political links and geographical proximity, respectively. However, the former requires new members to be recognized by the United Nations as fully independent.[14]

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.[15] However, after the UEFA Congress, no mention of a rule change was made.[16]

In May 2022 it was announced that Greenland had officially begun the process of becoming a member of CONCACAF and were expected to attend the body’s next congress with observer status.[17] It was anticipated that the association would submit its formal application by 2024 or 2025. The same challenges of the past, including lack of sufficient infrastructure, were expected to prolong the application process.[18] Shortly thereafter it was revealed that the association and head coach Morten Rutkjær had begun to identify players in Denmark who have Greenlandic roots. The association also appealed to UEFA for permission to play friendlies against San Marino and Gibraltar but were denied as it was outside of the FIFA match day window. Instead Greenland planned to participate in a tournament in Turkey in September 2022.[19]

Team image[edit]

Stadium[edit]

The team currently plays its home matches at Nuuk Stadium in Greenland's capital of Nuuk. The Arktisk Stadion is a proposed new national stadium which would meet the requirements of international football confederations.

Kit[edit]

As of July 2020. Greenland's current kit is provided by Italian sportswear company Macron.[20]

Results and fixtures[edit]

2022[edit]

Managers[edit]

Player records[edit]

As of 30 June 2017
Players in bold are still active with Greenland.

Most capped players[edit]

Rank Name Caps Goals Career
1 Anders H. Petersen 24 6 2001–present
2 Aputsiaq Birch 19 0 2005–present
3 John Rasmus Eldevig 18 1 2003–2013
4 Maasi Maqe 16 1 2009–2015
5 Kaali Lund Mathæussen 15 4 2009–present
6 Norsaq Lund Mathæussen 14 9 2011–present
Peri Fleischer 4 2003–2009
Niklas Kreutzmann 4 2003–2006
Kaassannguaq Zeeb 1 2005–2015
Nukannguaq Zeeb 1 2011–present

Top goalscorers[edit]

Norsaq Lund Mathæussen is the Greenland's top scorer with 9 goals.
Rank Name Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Norsaq Lund Mathæussen 9 14 0.64 2011–present
2 Jan Nielsen 8 ?
3 Vitus Kofoed 7 4 1.75 2003
4 Pavia Mølgaard 6 6 1 2009–2011
John-Ludvig Broberg 13 0.46 2011–present
Anders H. Petersen 24 0.25 2001–present
7 Leifeeraq Karlsen 5 9 0.56 2003–2005
8 Peri Fleischer 4 14 0.29 2003–2009
Niklas Kreutzmann 14 0.29 2003–2006
Kaali Lund Mathæussen 15 0.27 2009–present

Competitive record[edit]

ConIFA World Football Cup record[edit]

ConIFA World Football Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Sápmi 2014 Not member of ConIFA Not member of ConIFA
Abkhazia 2016 Did not enter Did not enter
Barawa 2018 Did not qualify 5 2 2 1 7 9
North Macedonia 2020 Cancelled Cancelled
Total 0/4 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2 2 1 7 9

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.

Year Round Position GP W D L GS GA
2006 FIFI Wild Cup Group stage 5th 2 0 0 2 2 5
Total Group stage 5th 2 0 0 2 2 5

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.

Year Round Position GP W D L GS GA
Northern Cyprus 2006 ELF Cup Group stage 5th 3 1 1 1 3 2
Total Group stage 5th 3 1 1 1 3 2

Head-to-head record[edit]

As of 30 June 2017 after match against  Isle of Man

  Positive Record   Neutral Record   Negative Record

Opponent
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
 Åland 6 1 0 5 10 17 −7
 Alderney 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3
 Bermuda 2 0 0 2 0 4 −4
 Falkland Islands 2 2 0 0 13 0 +13
 Faroe Islands 7 0 1 6 6 20 −14
 Frøya 4 2 1 1 18 5 +13
 Găgăuzia 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
 Gibraltar 4 2 0 2 7 7 0
 Gotland 4 2 0 2 8 12 −4
 Guernsey 2 0 1 1 0 6 −6
 Iceland 2 0 0 2 1 5 −4
 Isle of Man 2 1 0 1 4 6 −2
 Isle of Wight 6 2 1 3 8 14 −6
 Jersey 5 0 0 5 10 18 −8
 Kyrgyzstan (futsal) 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1
 Menorca 4 0 2 2 5 12 −7
 Northern Cyprus 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1
 Orkney 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1
 Rhodes 3 0 0 3 1 6 −5
 Saare County 3 3 0 0 8 2 +6
 Sápmi 1 0 0 1 1 5 −4
 Sark 1 1 0 0 16 0 +16
 Shetland 3 2 0 1 9 7 +2
 Tibet 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3
 Western Isles 3 2 1 0 8 4 +4
 Ynys Môn 4 1 1 2 2 3 −1
 Zanzibar 2 0 1 1 3 5 −2
Total 76 25 9 42 149 162 −19

Head-to-head record against other football clubs[edit]

As of 14 September 2021 after match against Denmark FC Nordsjælland

Opponent
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Denmark Denmark 1986 3 0 0 3 2 12 −10
Denmark Faxe BK 2 2 0 0 9 2 +7
FC International 1 0 0 1 0 5 −5
Denmark FC Midtjylland 2 0 1 1 1 6 −5
Denmark FC Nordsjælland 1 0 0 1 1 4 −3
Denmark SfB-Oure FA 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3
Denmark Fjerritslev IF 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3
Frederiksberg VLI 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1
Grotta 1 0 1 0 3 3 0
Denmark Hobro IK 1 1 0 0 4 2 +2
Iceland Div III 1 1 0 0 5 3 +2
Iceland Div IV 1 1 0 0 8 0 +8
Denmark IHF-Århus 1 0 0 1 2 3 −1
Denmark Ikast FC 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
Marstal/Rise Ærø 2 2 0 0 5 1 +4
Denmark Mors-Thy Håndbold 2 0 1 1 3 5 −2
Denmark Næsby Boldklub 1 0 1 0 2 2 0
Nuuk 1 0 0 1 2 3 −1
Denmark OB U19 1 0 0 1 1 6 −5
Denmark Odense KFUM 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
Skive 1 0 0 1 0 7 −7
Tåsinge 1 0 0 1 2 3 −1
Denmark Vejle Boldklub 1 1 0 0 8 5 +3
Denmark Vildbjerg SF 1 0 1 0 1 1 0
Iceland Knattspyrnufélagið Þróttur 1 1 0 0 5 1 +4
Total 31 12 6 13 71 75 −4

Honours[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 1 July 2022. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Football in Greenland". polar-bamserne.wifeo.com (in French). Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  3. ^ Homewood, Brian. "Danish FA supports Greenland's bid to join UEFA, FIFA". U.K. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  4. ^ Knox, Tomos (22 October 2014). "The unlikely success story of football on the massive island of Greenland". theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  5. ^ Thomsen, Per Bech (30 April 2001). "Defiant Greenland will play Tibet". espnfc.com. ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  6. ^ Burton, Mark. "Football: Greenland presses for recognition". Independent. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  7. ^ "THE ROAD AHEAD FOR FOOTBALL IN GREENLAND - A VIEW FROM WITHIN UEFA". patmcguinness.blogspot.com. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Grønlands dyre stadionprojekt er genvej til Fifa-familien". Politiken.dk. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Krarup, Poul. "Nyt parløb skal bringe Grønland ind i Uefa-familien" (in Danish). sermitsiaq.ag. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Første skridt mod et nationalt stadion i Nuuk" (in Danish). sermitsiaq.ag. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Første kunstgræsbane i Nuuk klar til indvielse" (in Danish). sermitsiaq.ag. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Kunstgræsbanen klar til indvielse" (in Danish). Sermitsiaq. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  14. ^ Homewood, Brian. "Danish FA supports Greenland's bid to join UEFA, FIFA". Reuters. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  15. ^ McGwin, Kevin. "Greenland could soon be a step closer to joining the world of international soccer". Arctic Now. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  16. ^ "UEFA Congress approves Good Governance reforms". UEFA. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  17. ^ Nohr, Michael. "Grønland søger om optagelse i Concacaf" (in Danish). Bold.dk. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  18. ^ Hansen, Nukappiaaluk. "KAK arbejder på medlemskab af international fodboldforbund" (in Danish). sermitsiaq.ag. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  19. ^ Hansen, Nukappiaaluk. "Uefa afviste to grønlandske kampe" (in Danish). Sermitsiaq.ag. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  20. ^ "MACRON NEW OFFICIAL KIT SUPPLIER OF GREENLAND FA". Macron. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  21. ^ 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). sermitsiaq.ag. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  22. ^ Hansen, Nukappiaaluk. "KAK ansætter landstræner". sermitsiaq.ag. Retrieved 18 August 2020.

External links[edit]