DBU · 6 Sep 2023
Simon Kjær joined the press conference ahead of the match between Denmark and San Marino. Some journalists were being annoying but Simon spoke up. And he did that well.
First some background information that is needed to understand this.
The Danish Football Foundation DBU has invited all former men's national team players to be tributed before the match between Denmark and San Marino on 7 September 2023.
Amongst those are 24 Danish amateur footballers that played a match against Slovakia in 2018. At that time the Danish national team, with Simon Kjær as the captain, was having a strike with the DBU. It was about the conditions the players had when they appeared for the national team. This concerned everything from payment, bonuses, rights, insurance, food and physical surroundings.
As a result, the team refused to show up against Slovakia in 2018 and the amateur team played the match.
On 7 September 2023 all former Danish national team players will gather together, and these amateur players from the substitute team will be amongst them.
During the press conference, Simon Kjær is being asked about the substitute national team from 2018, which, like
all other players, must be saluted before the game on 7 September 2023.
Simon Kjær: "They have played an official international match, just like everyone else who has been invited. So it's as it should be, and I'm fine with them being invited."
The journalist asks if Simon Kjær has changed his view on the whole matter and Simon is not amused by reopening the debate and he is being very clear about it towards the journalist.
Simon Kjær: "Is this seriously what we have to talk about the day before a national match in a packed Parken? The sun is shining and we are all looking forward to playing football."
"Is this what we have to spend our time on at a press conference? Generally about respect. If I'm going to stand up and take my time and respect your questions, you have to do it the other way too. I don't think it's okay."
How are you prepared to come in and play two internationals in such a short time now? Going forward, what do you think about
your own position in the national team, versus not playing much in the club team?
Simon Kjær: "We have been active for 14 days in Serie A, active throughout the preseason, I played training matches. Entered in two of the games. So just that about playing time, I can understand that it’s an interesting angle to use, but it is not the whole case. Last season I sat out for a certain period, and then I also played like 7-8 games in a row. It was then up to the national team break. So I don't think that's quite the right picture you're trying to give based on the situation."
"If I have played inside 45 minutes before we meet next time, then we can start talking about that issue. But right now I'm fine. As I said last time, when we were here, since my injury, well all the tests and everything I have done since then, has actually only gotten better. So I feel good and like I say every time I'm here: I love being here and I'm looking forward to play football. So yes I'm also ready to play football otherwise I wouldn't be here."
One journalist asks about the additional playing time that's being added these days, which can be up to 15 extra minutes.
Simon Kjær: "We have to look at what consequences it may have for the pressure on the players. After all, it's not just five or six minutes. When we only increase the number of matches and minutes, it will have consequences."
"And there will be no fewer matches going forward when we think of league matches, international matches, WC and EC finals. To me, there is something alarming and worrying about the risk of injury to the players."
"We all want to have effective playing time, but I don't know if this is the way to solve it."