Danish football restarts with drive-ins and virtual stadiums

After 80 long days without football, fans of Denmark's premier Superligan division will on Thursday night get to see their clubs battle again, but the stands themselves will be empty.

Danish football restarts with drive-ins and virtual stadiums
A digital mock-up of the Zoom virtual stadium. Photo: AGF


At 7pm, Aarhus AGF will kick off against Randers FC as Denmark becomes one of the first countries in Europe to restart its premiere league. 
Two of AGF's players, Alexander Munksgaard and Niklas Backman, are quarantined. But David Nielsen, AGF's coach, told Politiken that he wanted social distancing to be the last thing on his players' minds. 
“We just have to smash right on through the field. We have to let go of that caution,” he told the newspaper. “We can't 'slowly' start playing football again, because then we'll just get smacked in the head by our opponents.” 
With no fans, AGF has instead partnered with the digital video platform Zoom to create a sort of virtual stadium, where fans can choose from one of 22 different sections — just like in a real stadium — and be able to cheer and hear the cheers of others through their computers. 
Pictures of the fans will then be mounted on a huge screen in the stadium, so the players can see and hear them. 
“It will be the first tournament match in a long time, and we are celebrating that with a historic digital initiative, and we are proud to be the first club in the world to use it,” Jacob Nielsen, CEO of AGF said in a press release. 
It's not the only creative solution put in place by Danish clubs. Midtjylland  FC aims to use the parking lot outside its stadium for drive-in viewing, with the game against AC Horsens on June 1 set to be broadcast on huge screens. 
The tickets have already sold out, and there will be lost going on besides football, with prizes for the best decorated car, food, and music.  


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‘I’m fine — under the circumstances’: Collapsed Danish striker tweets from hospital

Christian Eriksen, the Danish football player who collapsed on the pitch in his country's opening Euro 2020 game, said that he was doing "fine" in an Instagram post from hospital on Tuesday.

'I’m fine — under the circumstances': Collapsed Danish striker tweets from hospital
Danish striker Christian Eriksen tweeted a picture of himself in hospital. Photo: DBU

“I’m fine — under the circumstances, I still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel okay,” he wrote in a post accompanying a photo of him smiling and giving a thumbs-up while lying in bed.

In a scene that shocked the sporting world and beyond, the 29-year-old Inter Milan midfielder suddenly collapsed on the field in the 43rd minute of Denmark’s Group B game on Saturday against Finland in Copenhagen.


Medical personnel administered CPR as he lay motionless on the field for about 15 minutes before being carried off the pitch and rushed to hospital. He was later confirmed to have suffered cardiac arrest.

“Big thanks for your sweet and amazing greetings and messages from all around the world. It means a lot to me and my family,” he wrote in Tuesday’s post. “Now, I will cheer on the boys on the Denmark team in the next matches. Play for all of Denmark.”