15/11/2018 20:54 GMT

Iceland's President Apologises For Saying Pineapple Pizza Should Be Banned

'I went a step too far'.

LegART via Getty Images

Iceland’s president has admitted he went “too far” when he said he wanted to ban pineapple as a topping for pizza in his country.

Gudni Johannesson’s comments two years ago sparked the debate about the Hawaiian pizza and pushed Brexit into the second place for the most important issue of the day.

During a visit to a local high school in February 2017, Johannesson responded to a student’s question about pizza by saying he was opposed to the topping and that he would like to ban it.

The self-proclaimed inventor of the dish, Canadian chef Sam Panopoulos, intervened and said Johannesson should know better. Panopoulos died at the age of 82 in June 2017.

Mike Coppola via Getty Images
Gudni Johannesson, President of Iceland

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister also hit back in at the time, tweeting his support for the “delicious Southwestern Ontario creation” and proclaimed he was a member of “#TeamPineapple”.

On Wednesday, Johannesson told Canadian TV show As It Happens: “That’s where the influence of this office sort of, yeah, got the better of me”,  adding “I went a step too far.”

After the debate took the world by storm, divided families, created huge Twitter arguments and broke up relationships Johannesson attempted to calm the world in a statement he published on Facebook.

He said: “I like pineapples, just not on pizza, I do not have the power to make laws which forbid people to put pineapples on their pizza. I am glad that I do not hold such power. 

“Presidents should not have unlimited power. I would not want to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding that which I don’t like. I would not want to live in such a country.”

Bizarrely, he then said: “For pizzas, I recommend seafood”, which is arguably more controversial than pineapple.