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Tuesday, August 9, 2022


A fair number of Greenland-born footballers have moved abroad down the years to study, find work or try and carve out a professional career in Denmark. Famous Greenlandic footballers are not exactly ten a penny, however, and the name Jesper Gronkjær crops up every time someone mentions something about the subject, more often than not in an article on the final stages of the country's football tournament, which will also invariably include the hackneyed "shortest football championship in the world" and/or "the football championship which only lasts a week" one-liners. 

Gronkjær was born in Godthåb (now known as Nuuk, of course) in 1977, where his mother worked as a nurse and his father found work as an electrician and a butcher, but he and his family moved to Denmark after five years in Greenland when he was only three years old, and the former Ajax, Chelsea and Atlético Madrid player, who went on to win 80 caps for Denmark, has never really had any further connection with the land of his birth.

A number of Greenlandic players have made the trip to Denmark in the last twenty-five years or so, most notably Rene Overballe, Niklas Kreutzmann, Aputsiaq Birch and Anton Overballe (the last two of whom should be familiar to anyone who reads PFB). Nowadays, some of the country's best Futsal players, international players Malik Juhl, Federik Funch and Malik Heimarij among them, have found a home for their skills in Denmark.

And, young Asii Kleist Berthelsen has been making waves in Denmark as a member of women's champions Fortuna Hjorring's squad over the past couple of years, and, as a result, has become a regular member of Denmark's under-age squads.

But, perhaps the first Greenlandic-born footballer to play the game abroad was Svend Ringsted, who was the son of Carl Ringsted, one of the Danish colonial administrators in Greenland at the time of his birth. Ringsted, whose story somewhat mirrors that of Gronkjær, was born in Julianehåb (now Qaqortoq) on 30 August 1893. 

Ringsted's father was returning to Denmark on a year's leave in 1896 when the ship he was travelling on, Castors, was lost off Cape Farewell, Greenland's southernmost point, in 1896, and all hands went down with the ship. In all, twenty-six people, twenty-one crew and five passengers, perished. The rest of the family - Carl Ringsted's wife and four children - including three year-old Svend, moved back to Denmark a year later, never to return to Greenland. 

Ringsted left secondary school in 1911, and joined Akademisk Boldklub the same year, and stayed with them until 1923. He won two Danish titles with them in 1919 and 1921 and also represented Denmark on five occasions, making his debut away to Sweden on 20 October 1918 in a 2:1 win.

The defender was also part of the Danish team which travelled to Antwerp to take part in the the 1920 Olympic Games under former Seaton Burn and Newcastle United manager Jack Carr, but did not play as Denmark were elminated in the first round after losing 1:0 against Spain. His fifth and final cap for Denmark came on 12 June 1921, when the Danes drew 1:1 against Holland in Copenhagen.

Ringsted qualified as a mechanical engineer during his time at Akademisk, and, after retiring from football, went on to manage and sit on the board at a number of companies, including that of his son. Svend Ringsted died in Hillerød, near Copenhagen, in 1975, at the edge of 81, and was survived by his wife and two children.

Svend Ringsted's story is not as well-known as that of Jesper Gronkjær, but if the latter can be referenced every time a story on football in Greenland is written, Ringsted's is one which deserves a honourable footnote in the history of both Greenlandic and Danish football. He was surely the first Greenlandic-born footballer to both lift the Danish title and play for Denmark, and not even Jesper Gronkjær can match that.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Much of the above information was gleaned from Wikipedia,,, and

Sunday, August 7, 2022


The final stages of this year's Greenlandic national championship will take place this coming week in the northern town of Ilulissat, home of Nagdlúnguak-48, who are this year's designated hosts and, as a result, were exempt from taking part in the qualifying stages. 

After a couple of tournament featuring ten teams and another with six teams, and last year's tournament being scrapped as a result of the Corona virus crisis, the finals make a welcome return this year with a tournament featuring the more traditional total of eight clubs.

Happily, East Greenland will be represented for the first time in a number of years, and by one of the region's oldest clubs to boot. ATA, formed in 1960 and hailing from the town of Tasiilaq, return to the big stage for the first time in a decade after coming through a five-team qualifying tournament which also featured its reserve side.

Elsewhere, the usual suspects - B-67 and IT-79 - made it through the Sermersooq/NBU qualifying group after overcoming stiff resistance from Nagtoralik, G-44 qualified from the Disko Bay region as per usual (and will be joined this year by T-41 Aasiaat), K-33 will have made the long journey north from the southernmost reaches of the country after coming top of their qualifying group, and Upernavik's UB-83 will be representing the Avaanaa region. SAK, from Sisimiut, qualified after defeating Aqissiaq in a play-off.

The draw was made by the KAK (the Greenlandic FA) on 30 July, and was refined on 6 August, with the Group B clash between heavyweights B-67 and Nagdlúnguaq-48, which was originally scheduled to kick off at 15:00 on Monday being swapped with the game between UB-83 against ATA, and will now take place at 19:00.

Please find below the fixture-list for the final tournament of the 2022 Greenlandic national championship (kick-off times in CET).




08/08/22 17:00 IT-79 : G-44
08/08/22 21:00 K-33 : SAK
09/08/22 17:00 IT-79 : K-33
09/08/22 21:00 G-44 : SAK
10/08/22 17:00 IT-79 : SAK
10/08/22 21:00 G-44 : K-33




08/08/22 19:00 UB-83 : ATA
08/08/22 23:00 B-67 : Nagdlúnguaq-48
09/08/22 19:00 B-67 : UB-83
09/08/22 23:00 Nagdlúnguaq-48 : ATA
10/08/22 19:00 B-67 : ATA
10/08/22 23:00 Nagdlúnguaq-48 : UB-83


12/08/22 17:00 GPA3 : GPB4
12/08/22 19:00 GPA4 : GPB3


12/08/22 21:00 GPA1 : GPB2
12/08/22 23:00 GPA2 : GPA1


13/08/22 15:30


13/08/22 17:00


13:08/22 19:30


13/08/22 23:00

NOTE: It was revealed in the hours after this article was published that ATA scratched from the finals of the national championship due to their being unable to raise the money needed to travel to Ilulissat, meaning that, once again, there would be no representative from East Greenland taking part. Their place has been taken by Aasiaat' T-41. 

Meanwhile, B-67 were stranded at Kangerlussuaq Airport due to fog, so their game against B-67, due to be played on 08/08/22, has been moved to 11/08/22. These changes shall be reflected in an article covering this year's championship, to be published in the days after the tournament's conclusion.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: As mentioned in the article, the draw was made public by the KAK on 30 July. As ever, any errors/omissions will be rectified upon notification. Many thanks to Lorenzo Bigo for additional information.