REYKJAVIK: Icelandic football has been shaken by a sexual harassment and abuse scandal which has swept away the president of the football federation (KSI), Gudni Bergsson, and his board.

This followed initial attempts by Bergsson to refute recent reports on social media and an article by a sexologist about the silence around sexual episodes allegedly committed by Icelandic national team players.

The future of the KSI president was then challenged when a young Icelandic woman revealed a few days ago on public television that a national team player had admitted abusing her in a nightclub in 2017 and that the KSI itself had been informed.

Bergsson has now apologised and said he believed it was a case of physical not sexual abuse. However, after crisis meetings over the weekend, he resigned along with his board of directors.

According to Icelandic media, the young woman and the player’s lawyer, supported by the KSI, signed a confidentiality agreement in exchange for compensation.

The Icelandic Federation has not revealed the name of the player.

Kolbeinn Sigthórsson, a former Ajax and AZ Alkmaar player, who has been omitted from the squad for Iceland’s World Cup qualifiers.

His current club, IFK Gothenburg, issued a statement saying: “We take the case very seriously, although from a legal point of view it is closed. We have started a dialogue with the player to decide how to move forward.

“We want to emphasize that we condemn his behaviour and others like it.”