Danish football association laments Qatar investment

Elsewhere, it was a mixed bag of nuts for Danish teams in Europe and Bayern Munich snap up FC Midtjylland youngster 

The Danish football association DBU has long been a leading voice of criticism when it comes to Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup later this year. 

So it was quite the surprise today when news broke that DBU had funds invested in the Gulf state. 

DBU communication head Jacob Højer apologised and said that Danske Bank has been asked to divest any shares relating to Qatar from DBU’s investment portfolio.

“We have an investment policy that lets Danske Bank invest on our behalf based on certain guidelines that follow UN rules to ensure that we don’t invest in, for instance, weaponry,” Højer said according to TV2 News.

“I’m annoyed that we and our advisers in Danske Bank havn’t been aware of it. It shouldn’t have happened. It’s a mistake and we apologise.”

READ ALSO: DBU stepping up pressure on Qatar following critical report on WC stadia

More to come?
Højer said that the shares in question represent just 0.1 percent of the association’s portfolio of 219 million kroner.

According to 24syv radio station, DBU had shares in several big banks in Qatar, as well as bonds in the state-owned energy firm QatarEnergy.

The media revealed that DBU also has investments in similar countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. 

“As of now, we’ve asked to divest shares we have in Qatar and after that we’ll look at the overall portfolio and our investment policy and whether it needs to change,” said Høyer.

Teen signs with Bayern
German giants Bayern Munich have revealed they have reached an agreement for the transfer of Danish teen Jonathan Asp Jensen from FC Midtjylland. Jensen, who turned 16 last month, will join the Bundesliga outfit this summer in a deal worth about 11 million kroner. The attacking midfielder has three goals in four games for Denmark’s under-16 national team and will become the first Dane in Bayern since Pierre-Emile Højbjerg left in 2016. 

Denmark opposes UEFA youth plan
UEFA is looking into a new tournament format for under-15 national teams, something that Denmark has voiced opposition to. The move could force DBU to begin its talent development process a year sooner than now, but the football association believes it is too early an age to play national team football. Flemming Berg, DBU’s head of development until recently, said the pressure from agents, foreign clubs, teammates and friends was too much for 14-year-old kids to handle.

Wolves bite as Blue Horses are broke
It was a mixed bag of nuts for the Danish teams taking part in the European Conference League this week. FC Midtjylland won the first leg of their knock-out matchup by beating PAOK Saloniki 1-0 in Herning, while Randers fell 1-4 away to Leicester City, despite equalising just before halftime. FC Copenhagen, the final Danish team in Europe, has a bye to the tournament’s next round. 

From Hoops to Helsingør?
Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley has revealed that he hopes to be in contention for Denmark’s squad at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The 21-year-old, who has several English youth caps to his name, has a Danish mother and says he speaks the language decently. DBU later stated that Riley is among the many players that it is keeping tabs on. London-born O’Riley originally came through at Fulham’s youth setup, before joining MK Dons. He recently joined Celtic in a 1.8 million pound deal. 

Curling ladies swept aside …
The women’s curling team are heading home from the 2022 Olympic Games following a disappointing showing in Beijing. The Danes were soundly defeated 4-10 by Canada in their final game and depart China after finishing second last in the group stage with just two wins in nine games. To their credit, quite a few of Denmark’s losses were very close. 

… but the men were even worse!
The men’s curling squad will follow the ladies’ team home following a dismal showing in Beijing. By losing 5-7 to the US in their final group stage game, Denmark managed only one win in nine games and finished last overall. It is the second consecutive Olympic Games that the men finish rock bottom in the group stage, though the team managed two wins four years ago in Pyeongchang.

Skaters miss out
In what was probably Denmark’s best chance to medal at the 2022 Winter Games, both men’s speed skaters Stefan Due Schmidt and Viktor Hald Thorup missed out on the final of the men’s mass start. Both skaters finished outside the top 8 in each of their semifinal heats. The result means that Denmark will not win any medals in Beijing. Denmark has only won a single medal at the Winter Games – a silver in women’s curling in Nagano 1998.

Ida sets a new record … twice!
Danish sprinter Ida Karstoft is showing good form at the moment, setting two new national records in as many weeks. The 26-year-old from Lemvig set a new Danish 200m record with a time of 23.36 on January 29 and then improved that the following week with a time of 23.25 on February 4. Karstoft was part of the Danish women’s 4x100m relay team that set a new record at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Interestingly, she also has two caps for the Danish national football team.

Superliga kicks off again
The Danish Superliga kicked off again last night following several months off due to the winter break. AGF Aarhus came back from two goals down to beat SønderjyskE 3-2. FC Midtjylland hold a slender two-point lead over FC Copenhagen in the standings ahead of the games this weekend.

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