Sports News in Brief: Danish football association under fire for Abu Dhabi trip

Elsewhere, Hugh Jackman irks the Danish number one, the handball men are under pressure and FCK gets a new CEO

The Danish football association DBU has come under fire from human rights organisations for sending a combined under-21/league national team to Abu Dhabi for its winter training camp.

Organisations like Amnesty International Danmark have voiced concern that the trip has indirectly supported the oppressive and undemocratic regime in the UAE by using facilities that have been built and are serviced by poor migrant workers who live and work in appalling conditions.

Aside from that, homosexuality is criminalised in the UAE, while women are suppressed and citizens are routinely jailed for criticising the regime.

DBU has countered the criticism by maintaining that Amnesty International itself doesn’t recommend boycotting Abu Dhabi.

The trip wasn’t all that great from a sporting perspective either, as the Danes lost to Sweden (0-1) and Jordan (2-3). The loss to Jordan included a particularly disappointing defensive performance.

Handball men on the brink?
The Danish men’s team are once again staring into the abyss of failure at the European Handball Championship following a sensational defeat to the Czech Republic in Croatia this week. The Danes had started off the tournament strongly by beating Hungary by seven goals, but then floundered 27-28 on Monday night to an unfancied Czech team that was pummelled by Spain in their first game. Now, the Danes need to get a result against the strong Spaniards if they hope to take some points into the secondary group stage. A loss to the Spanish could make qualification for the knockout stage very difficult.

Don’t be a jackass, Hugh
The Hollywood star Hugh Jackman has attracted the ire of the Danish badminton world number one, Viktor Axelsen, for some rather insensitive comments about the sport this week. The Australian actor said he was confident of being able to take part in the Olympic Games in badminton, because the training and games weren’t as tough as other Olympic sports. Axelsen countered by inviting Jackman to Denmark to see how hard the training is and went on to say he would beat Jackman even if he gave him an 18-0 head-start.

FCK sells talent to the Bundesliga …
According to a number of Danish newspapers today, the Danish football team FC Copenhagen is on the brink of selling its young talent Mads Bidstrup to German outfit Red Bull Leipzig. The price for the 16-year-old midfielder has been mentioned at about 20 million kroner plus various clauses that could raise the figure even higher in the future. Just six months ago, the Lions sold another top prospect, Victor Jensen, to Ajax.

… and get a new CEO
Parken Sport & Entertainment (PS&E), the owners of FC Copenhagen, announced yesterday that it was replacing long-time chief executive Anders Hørsholt with Jan Harrit, the head of waterpark holiday centre Lalandia – also owned by PS&E. Hørsholt had been the head of FCK since 2012. The leadership shake-up also includes Katja Moesgaard becoming the new commercial head of the club.