Sports Round-Up: Another Dane eyeing NFL Draft 

Elsewhere, government sets aside millions for Olympics, badminton star retires and Schmeichel Sr voted Premier Leagues best 

Nielsen (74) is a big lad (photo: Twitter/Steven Nielsen)
April 23rd, 2020 2:07 pm| by Christian W
Facebooktwitterpinterestmail

Last year, Hjalte Froholdt became the first Dane since 1982 to be drafted by the NFL when New England Patriots called his name in the fourth round. 

A year later and yet another Dane has a chance of being drafted. 

Steven Nielsen, 23 and from Dragør, is an offensive lineman who has started at left tackle for the University of Eastern Michigan since his freshman year.   

READ ALSO: In the footsteps of the immortal

Late-round dreams
A massive presence with his 204 cm and 140 kilos, Nielsen has been picked by some experts to go as high as the sixth round (out of seven) in the draft.  

Nielsen, who hopes to sneak in somewhere in the last two rounds of the draft, reveals that a few unnamed NFL teams have reached out to him for talks. 

The NFL Draft, which will be held digitally due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be held this coming weekend


Aid for Olympic preps
Due to the coronavirus, Denmark’s preparations for the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo have been under severe duress. But now, the government has agreed to set aside 15 million kroner to help Team Denmark support its competitors in preparation for the sports event. The funds can be used to extend trainers, staff and other key personnel, whose contracts were due to expire after the Tokyo Olympics. The Tokyo Olympics and subsequent Paralympic games will be held in the summer of 2021 instead.


Badminton’s Boe bows out 
One of Denmark’s top badminton players in doubles, Mathias Boe, has decided to call time on his career – effective immediately. Boe, 39, had announced that he wanted to retire following the World Championships or the Tokyo Olympics, but the Coronavirus Crisis has ended up postponing those events. A winner of multiple European, World Tour and Superseries titles with former long-time partner Carsten Mogensen, Boe also won silver medals at the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 World Championships, along with the prestigious Thomas Cup with Denmark in 2016. Boe’s future may well lie in India. He co-owns and coaches the Indian badminton team Pune 7aces and is dating Bollywood star Taapsee Pannu.


Peter still the greatest
Danish keeper legend Peter Schmeichel has once again been voted the best keeper in Premier League history following a massive BBC fan poll involving some 160,000 users. Schmeichel, who won five PL, three FA Cup and a Champions league title between 1991 and 1999, won the poll comfortably ahead of Petr Cech and Edwin van der Saar. BBC experts Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Ian Wright all had Schmeichel down as their number one PL keeper in history as well. Meanwhile, in another BBC poll, the Danish 1986 World Cup strip was voted the 14th most iconic in history, with 2 percent of all respondents choosing it. The easy winner was the strip Brazil wore when it won the 1970 World Cup.


UEFA cracks down hard on Santos
FC Copenhagen striker Michael Santos faces extended time away from European football after being handed a three-match ban by UEFA for pushing a policeman in FCK’s 3-1 Europa League win over Celtic in Glasgow in February. The Danish champions disagree with the punishment and are considering an appeal against the decision. To this end, the club has asked UEFA for a written explanation of the sanctions.

READ MORE: Celtic cops choke on sour grapes


TV2 snags Europa League nights
From 2021-2024, fans will have to switch on TV2 if they want to catch any Danish teams playing European football that isn’t Champions League. Following a tough bidding battle, TV2 won the right to show Europa League and the new Conference League matches. The change means matches will no longer be on Discovery. TV2 also has the rights to Serie A and La Liga.