Marseille, France: A week after England and Russia supporters clashed and while flare-throwing and fighting have injured games elsewhere, fans of tiny Iceland contend they cite hugs to hooliganism during Euro 2016.
Having a time of their lives, Icelanders told AFP in Marseille they have come to their initial ever European Championships to have fun and feel partial of Europe.
“I’m not certain life can get any better, it’s historic, good to be here,” Louise Ragnarsdottir told AFP on a seafront of a southern city.
“All my life we watched a tournaments on TV, now we are partial of Europe’s party!” pronounced a 28-year-old accountant from Reykjavik.
Some 27,000 Iceland fans have trafficked to France, roughly 10 percent of a Nordic island’s 330,000-strong population. No smaller republic has ever featured during a Euro finals.
“We live on a lost island, only to go abroad during all is an experience,” pronounced Ragnarsdottir.
After a Group F tie with Hungary on Saturday pockets of Iceland fans collected in Marseille’s Vieux Port district to intone “Boom-Boom-Hoooo!”, leaping in unanimity on a “Hoooo!”.
“It’s a Viking song, synchronised and terrifying,” laughed Arni Gardar, an IT consultant from Reykjavik.
“But we don’t meant to be scary, we are good Vikings not marauders, indeed really nice, we come in peace,” he said.
“Iceland is N-Iceland!” cried another fan, Jonina Unnur Gunnarsdottir.
‘Best fans yet’
“They are a best fans we have seen yet,” pronounced Karim, a cafeteria owners examination a spree on a Quai des Belges. “It was opposite final week,” he recalled.
Nearly a week ago England and Russia fans conducted pitched battles in a misfortune assault during a football contest given a 1998 World Cup, call military to respond with rip gas and rod charges.
For fans of a Nordic minnows a Euro 2016 assault has been an eye-opening experience.
“We are a pacific nation, we have no army, no guns, we’re only not into fighting,” Atli Gudmundsson told AFP. “At home families go to football, nobody dreams of ever causing trouble.”
The 29-year-old attended a Croatia-Czech Republic tie in Saint Etienne on Friday where Croatian fans fought among themselves and illuminated flares, forcing a proxy blocking in play.
“Torches on a pitch, fighting in a stands, that kind of thing is new to us, it was utterly intolerable to see,” he said.
‘Share a love’
“We only wish to cuddle people, we meant come on, only share a love,” pronounced his crony Daniel Ma’sson.
Hungary brought some 20,000 fans to a diversion in Marseille. Some scuffled with confidence guards before a diversion and threw flares on a pitch.
“All a tragedy was on a other side of a pitch,” Elisabet Thorisdottir told AFP.
“The Hungarians were a tiny bit aggressive, though really passionate. We had no problem with them or anyone else.”
Around 10,000 Iceland fans were also in a Stade Velodrome and a dual sets of fans constructed a rough atmosphere, a Scandinavians holding their possess with renditions of “Boom-Boom-Hoooo”.
And heading 1-0 with dual mins to go Iceland were on a margin of a fairytale win to follow a 1-1 pull opposite Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal on their European Championships debut.
Then dual mins from a finish an possess idea by Birkir Savarsson dejected their dreams.
“The Portugal 1-1 pull was like a win, though a Hungary 1-1 felt like a defeat,” pronounced Iceland fan Bjarni Mak Johanntsson.
But for a republic that only 4 years ago was ranked 131st in a universe their fans will suffer a rest of Euro 2016 no matter whatever happens in a final organisation diversion opposite Austria in a Stade de France on Wednesday.
“We’re a tiny guys, always overlooked,” pronounced Hdortur Bjarnason.
“It’s only good to be beheld for once. Europe, we will be back!” he said, punching a air.