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Danish league team lost but gained respect

Press Release   •   Feb 17, 2003 12:23 CET

The sportsmanlike behaviour of Denmark’s soccer league team which is sponsored by Arla Foods won many friends during their tour of Asia and the Middle East.
One incident, in particular, made headlines on CNN, the world’s biggest news channel.

The incident happened during a game against Iran, when an Iranian player, mistaking a whistle from the stands for the referee’s whistle, picked up the ball. Despite violent objections from by the Iranian team, the referee promptly pointed to the penalty spot, giving the Danes a huge chance for an easy goal.

However, the Danish coach – and former international star – Morten Olsen ordered team captain Morten Wieghorst to miss the penalty so as not to take advantage of the dubious opportunity. The Danes went on to lose 0 –1.
“Although Denmark lost, their sporting attitude won everybody’s admiration,” CNN declared.

In a subsequent game against Hong Kong, watched by Prins Joachim of Denmark, the Danish team defeated the hosts 2-1. On Wednesday Denmark plays Egypt.

Denmark’s coach, Morten Olsen, ordered his captain, Morten Wieghorst, to miss a penalty against Iran. The gesture won the Danes considerable admiration inside as well as outside the stadium in Hong Kong.
Touring in Asia the danish soccer stars promoted Lurpak butter.