“Fancy a match report?” Steve Wilson asked me at Dagenham Dan’s wedding recently. Thinking it would be from your run of the mill European game in Spain, Germany or Italy (nothing wrong with these mind) I of course agreed, but wondered where I could find a home for it. “Sure. Where you off to?…”Oh, I am running a marathon in the Faroe Islands and there is THE big derby the next day”. Steve had me at Faroe Islands, as I am sure he would have in your case.
The Faroe Islands have been traditional minnows ever since their admission into FIFA in 1988 and UEFA in 1990. Their results would back up this standing, having a record of P152 W18 D15 L119 of their officially recognised fixtures to date (including friendlies), a record not dissimilar to Lewes’s in recent years although I was mildly surprised they had won so many games. However, even the Faroes have had their moments in the headlines for the right reasons – their very first competitive fixture was a Euro 92 qualifier against Austria, which they won 1-0, to the surprise of everybody. Indeed, in the December 1992 FIFA World Rankings, the Faroe Islands peaked inside the top 100 for the only time, attaining a ranking of 94th.
More recently the Faroes have been justifying their minnow status, and at the time of writing sit in 175th in the FIFA Rankings, below such powerhouses as Pakistan, Sao Tome e Principe and Bermuda. The aforementioned victory against Austria, whilst being a home fixture for the Faroe Islands, was actually played in Landskrona, Sweden since there were no suitable pitches on the Islands at the time. Nowadays home fixtures are played at Tórsvøllur, a small 6,000 capacity stadium situated in a sports complex on the edge of the capital city – Tórshavn. Continue reading