The Russian trade embargo on importing food from European countries has complicated Iceland’s preparations for the World Cup, RÚV reports. While the Iceland men’s national football team imported food to France for the UEFA Championships in 2016, Russia’s trade embargo prevents them from doing so for the World Cup. The team must instead rely entirely on Russian products.
Russia placed a trade embargo on importing food from various countries in response to sanctions imposed on the country for their actions in Ukraine. The embargo’s largest impact in Iceland has been on the fishing industry, which has seen revenue losses. Now the Football Association of Iceland (KSÍ) has been affected as they prepare the men’s national football team for their participation in the World Cup next month.
CEO of KSÍ Klara Bjartmarz says the association has spent more time working through customs issues than expected. “We need a high level of accuracy in completing all the customs forms. We’ve spent an enormous amount of time on that but we hope we’re on the right track now,” says Klara, who adds that the team takes an enormous amount of equipment and supplies with them to Russia: “clothing, technical equipment, and everything like that – medication and medical supplies.”
Klara says, however, that she has no concerns about Russian food and that the team is better prepared than they were for the UEFA Championships two years ago. “We’ve organized every meal, every practice, every meeting – everything. Nothing should happen by chance abroad – that’s the plan.”