I was slightly worried about finding fans of the smallest country ever to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, but the Icelandic Canadian Club of Toronto organized a viewing at The Football Factory on Bathurst and Iceland fans responded. Although we didn’t get a well organized thunder/viking clap in the bar, it was a rowdy environment, aided by a handful of Argentina fans. Despite dominant ball control by Argentina throughout the game, the 1-1 draw was an absolute victory for Iceland and they earned their first World Cup point. This is Iceland World Cup in Toronto.
Date: June 16, 2018
Score of game: Argentina 1, Iceland 1
Location: The Football Factory, 164 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON
Estimated number of fans at location: 25
The photo below is the moment Lionel Messi missed the penalty kick in the second half with the game tied 1-1. It was a huge moment. Awesome.
I definitely caught the Iceland bug, as many people did during the UEFA Euro 2016. It’s a good story.
Speaking of good stories, I have to mention a true Toronto World Cup super fan. Adam, pictured below, second from the right, thoroughly combines his love for the World Cup and his love for the multiculturalism and diversity of his adopted city. He’s amazing! Decked out in full Icelandic gear (he’s not Icelandic) along with a binder of knowledge, literally, he seeks out and celebrates the beautiful game with fans in Toronto from every part of the globe. He’s been doing it for years, and you can count on him attending many other venues with fans of many different countries through the tournament. I look forward to running into Adam again.
Iceland is the 77th country to play in the FIFA World Cup tournament since it began in 1930, and my 50st team photographed here in Toronto since 2006.
Update: Iceland supporters are invited to join a less formal viewing on Friday, June 22nd at 11am to watch their match versus Nigeria at Il Gatto Nero Caffè Bar, 720 College St., Toronto, ON. You can see the facebook event page here.