The World Cup has gone smoothly for the most part for a delegation of five Icelandic police officers sent to Russia for the event, RÚV reports. One Icelander was, however, arrested in Moscow prior to the Iceland-Argentina match after being involved in a stabbing incident. He was released after a report was made and still made it on time to the match.
Tjörvi Einarsson, one of the five police officers in the delegation, says the event has been “like a fairytale.” The group was sent to the event by the Office of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police to be on hand should anything happen to Icelanders attending the matches.
The Commissioner’s Office also sent a delegation to the European Championship in 2016, which was criticized for only containing men, a reaction the former Minister of the Interior called “completely unexpected.” The delegation currently in Russia is made up of three female and two male officers. “This was totally conscious and has in fact attracted a lot of attention from our colleagues here abroad,” remarked Tjörvi. “They say it’s enviable what a cool group we’ve managed to put together and they think this is how it should be.”
The Icelandic police delegation in Russia. Photo: Ríkislögreglustjórinn/Instagram.
Two of the Icelandic officers are collaborating with authorities from all of the tournament’s participating countries in order to prevent troublemakers who would “ruin the fun for those who just want to have a good time,” Tjörvi says.
The other three officers travel between the locations where team Iceland is playing and are available to assist should a situation arise. “If Icelanders would be in trouble, they can intervene and prevent it from getting bigger.”
The team will have their work cut out for the when they follow Iceland’s players to Volgograd this Friday, where mosquitoes and midges have been wreaking havoc on fans and players alike. To make matters more difficult, the weather is expected to be very hot. Tjörvi seems to take it all in stride. “We have a good supply of bug spray,” he says.