Sports Round-Up: Denmark seeded second for 2022 World Cup draw

Elsewhere, another Dane on cusp of NHL debut, FCK sign Swedish international and the best handballers are from Denmark

With 29 of the 32 nations participating at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar now confirmed, Denmark can begin to size up the permutations: the dream group and the ones to best avoid … the notorious ‘Group of Death’.

When the draw takes place today, from 17:45-19:00 CET, Denmark will avoid fellow second seeds Germany, the Netherlands and Croatia. 

But there is stern opposition to be found in the top seed grouping, where Brazil, Belgium, France, Argentina, England, Spain and Portugal all lurk. Qatar, also a top seed by virtue of being the host, will be the best bet for the easy fixture there. 

The third seed grouping aren’t slouches either with Poland, Japan, Serbia, Senegal and South Korea all being capable units. 

And in the bottom seed grouping, Cameroon, Ecuador and Ghana would be the teams to best avoid. 

READ ALSO: Christian Eriksen makes fairytale return to Denmark

Draw on tonight at 18:00
Keeping in mind that no group may consist of more than two teams from Europe and one team from the other world football associations – so Brazil or Iran can’t be drawn with a team from their own football association – a prospective dream draw for Denmark could perhaps look like this: Qatar, Denmark, Tunisia and Canada.

Meanwhile, a potential ‘group of death’ for Denmark might resemble: Brazil, Denmark, Serbia and Ghana.

Keep in mind that the three remaining teams to make it will be found from the winners of Wales vs Scotland/Ukraine, Costa Rica vs New Zealand and Peru vs Australia/United Arab Emirates.

Witness the excitement of the draw live at

Denmark out of top 10
Following a friendly defeat to the Netherlands last week, Denmark have dropped out of the top 10 in the FIFA World Rankings. The Danes rebounded to beat Serbia a few days later, but it was not enough as both the Dutch and Mexico squeezed by, pushing Denmark down to 11th spot. Brazil tops the ranking ahead of Belgium, France, Argentina and England. Italy, ranked sixth, will be the only country in the top 16 not taking part in the 2022 World Cup.

Historic ice hockey ranking
The men’s ice hockey team made history this week by being ranked in the top 10 nations in the world for the first time by the IIHF. A good showing at the recent Winter Olympics pushed the Danes into 10th – the highest ranking previously achieved was 12th. Finland tops the rankings ahead of Canada and Russia. The Danish women’s team is also ranked 10th in the world.

On cusp of NHL debut
Mads Søgaard seems destined to be the next Dane to make his debut in the NHL after being called up to the Ottawa Senators this week. The 21-year-old goaltender, who was drafted by the Sens in 2019, would become the 16th Dane in history to play in the world’s best ice hockey league. And his debut seems almost assured as his coach D J Smith has confirmed he will get a start sometime in the coming days.

FCK sign Sweden international
With the Superlia entering its final stretch, FC Copenhagen have picked up Swedish international Viktor Claesson. The 30-year-old winger, who has 58 caps for Sweden, signed on a free after leaving his Russian club Krasnodar due to the war in Ukraine. Claesson has played almost 150 games for Krasnodar since 2017 and amassed 43 goals and 31 assists. His deal with FCK will run to the end of this season. 

Mark O lands UFC contract
Former Olympic wrestler Mark O Madsen has picked up another contract with mixed martial arts (MMA) giant UFC. Madsen faces US fighter Vinc Pichel on April 10, but his extension will ensure he will get more fights in the future. The 37-year-old’s foray into MMA has so far yielded 11 wins in as many fights. Madsen won a silver medal in wrestling at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

The best handballers in the world
According to the International Handball Federation (IHF), the best handballers – and coaches – in the world are from Denmark. In a public vote organised by the IHF, Niklas Landin (24 percent of vote) was voted the best male player and Sandra Toft (30 percent of vote) was named the best female player. Meanwhile, Jesper Jensen was named the best coach of a women’s team and Nikolaj Jacobsen was named the best coach of a men’s team. Toft is the first Danish woman to win the award since Anja Andersen won it in 1997. 

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