Sports Round-Up: Denmark’s Euro 2021 games set in stone

Elsewhere, tragedy as footballer drowns, teen breaks long-standing 5k mark and Dane heading to battle on UFC’s Fight Island

On June 17, the European footballing body UEFA announced that all 12 host cities (Copenhagen included) have been confirmed for the postponed Euro 2021 tournament.

Copenhagen retains its hosting duties for three group games and one last-16 fixture, and Denmark will kick off its tournament against Finland on June 12 in the Danish capital.

The Danes will then take on Belgium in Telia Parken on June 17, before completing its group stage games against Russia in the same stadium on June 21 .

READ ALSO: Sports Round-Up: All set for Euro 2020 in … ahem … 2021

Last-16 on June 28
Should Denmark progress to the last-16, it will play that match somewhere other than Copenhagen.

The Danish capital will host a last-16 match-up on June 28.

See the entire schedule here (in English).

Footballer dies in Aalborg drowning tragedy
A 20-year-old Ghanaian footballer, Adom Ibrahim, died on June 15 after going for a late evening swim in Vestre Fjordpark in Aalborg. Ibrahim, who played briefly for Hobro earlier this year, was found unresponsive in the water and rushed to hospital where doctors were unable to revive him. Police regard the drowning  as an accident. Ibrahim had remained in Denmark in the hope of securing a professional contract with a Danish club.

Worre steps down as cycling boss
The Danish Cycling Union (DCU) has confirmed it will part ways with Jesper Worre, the long-term head of Denmark’s biggest cycle race, PostNord Danmark Rundt. DCU stated that it wanted its event planning department to organise the race along with other roadside initiatives. Worre had been in charge of organising the race since 1997.

FCN starlet on the Golden Boy list
There aren’t any Danish talents among this year’s 100 Golden Boy nominations, but FC Nordsjælland can celebrate that it at least has a player on the prestigious list. Ghananian midfielder Mohammed Kudus is rated among the best players in the Superliga and the 19-year-old is on the list along with the likes of superstars Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho. Kudus arrived at FCN in 2018 and quickly established himself in the league.

Teen cracks long-standing 5k mark
Denmark looks to have a huge running talent coming through the ranks. Competing at Skovdalen Atletikstadion in Aalborg on June 13, Axel Vang Christensen, 15, set a time in the 5,000 metres that was the fastest ever run by a Dane under the age of 18. Christensen’s time of 14 minutes and 6 seconds is almost 5 seconds faster than legendary runner Henrik Jørgensen’s record from 1979. However, Jørgensen’s record will remain the official mark because Christensen currently runs in the under-16 division. The time is a new Danish under-16 record though, with Christensen adamant that he hopes to reach an Olympic final in the future.

Bears miss out on Euros opportunity
Denmark’s top basketball team, the Bakken Bears, has missed out on a tilt at European glory following the cancellation of the Fiba Europe Cup due to the Coronavirus Crisis. The Aarhus-based side had reached the semi-finals and were due to face Turkish outfit Bahçeşehir Koleji after defeating Tsmoki-Minsk of Belarus in the quarters. In March, the Danish basketball league was also cancelled and the Bears were crowned champions for the fourth year in a row.

Saints strip Højbjerg of captain’s armband
Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg has lost his role as captain of English Premier League side Southampton due to uncertainty over his contract extension. Saints coach Ralph Hasenhüttl had previously stated that the Dane could lose his captaincy role if he didn’t sign a new contract. Højbjerg, who has been a solid player for Southampton over the past two seasons, has been linked with Tottenham this summer. James Ward-Prowse will take over as captain for the remainder of the season.

Lions could play key Euro fixture on neutral ground
FC Copenhagen are waiting for UEFA to decide where their second-leg Europa League fixture against Istanbul Basaksehir will take place. The game will be played on August 5-6, but a venue has yet to be announced. FCK are the home team for the leg, having lost 0-1 in Turkey just as the Coronavirus Crisis kicked in, but UEFA could go with playing all Europa League games at a neutral venue. FCK coach Ståle Solbakken has already announced that such a move would be unfair for the Danes. In related news, FC Midtjylland’s Youth League quarter-final against Ajax Amsterdam will be played in Nyon, Switzerland in August.

Dane to help christen UFC’s new ‘Fight Island’
The Danish UFC fighter Nicolas ‘Lokomotivo’ Dalby will be among the first to duke it out in the octagon of UFC’s newly-purchased island in the UAE. Dalby will face English fighter Danny ‘Hot Chocolate’ Roberts in the cage on July 25 on Yas Island (aka ‘Fight Island’) in Abu Dhabi. UFC will fly fighters to the island, which will offer a 25 sq km security zone that only fighters, coaches and other required personnel will have access to. 34-year-old Dalby has a record of 18 wins, three defeats and a no contest as an MMA fighter.

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