Simon Kjær interview about One Love armband issues
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Simon Kjær interview about One Love armband issues

Interview: DR · 23 Nov 2022

Simon Kjær didn't wear the One Love armband during the Qatar World Cup 2022. What's the rationale behind this decision? Watch the interview with Simon Kjær on 23 November 2022.

Simon Kjær interview

But Simon Kjær, if we're just taking the serious part, it's a big press conference you're holding now, and you're also here on behalf of the team. We heard Kasper Hjulmand said yesterday that this means a lot to him, but how much does this whole discussion and talk mean to the players?

Simon Kjær: "Well of course it takes up a lot of space, we try to separate things as much as possible and keep the focus. I actually think it has gone really well, I don't think in our training or our matches in the spring there is anything to worry about, but at the same time you don't know what is going on inside each other's heads either. But I hope and believe it should never ever be an excuse that it's here. It's also a shame it's here, but that's why we also have to remember why we're here. We're here to play football, and that's really just what we say."

You could say you could have parked this discussion by taking the yellow card and going forward with it on the pitch against Tunisia. Do you regret not doing it when you see what the reactions have been afterwards?

Simon Kjær: "No, I don't because I still think it would be wrong to do so. That would be compromising with the sporting aspect, and that is what we have said from the beginning that we will not do that.

If I go into the match and subsequently get a random card, well then I'm failing the team, I'm failing everything we've worked for for so long, you have to remember that a World Cup is the biggest thing for a footballer. I have dreamed of playing in the World Cup since I was 4 years old. All the birthdays I've missed for my children, all the things I've missed for my family, all the compromises and deprivations I've also taken. That's also what has cost me because I'm here today. And it shouldn't sound like I'm complaining about it, but those are the conditions.

So, it is also a shame that it has to be such a focal point as it has been. But at the same time I said, also yesterday, that it is great that there is that openness around Denmark and we will have the debate, but in my view we will also have to separate the two things. Because we are here as footballers we do our job, that is to play football. You do your part, but there will also have to be an internal understanding in relation to what can actually be expected.

We have two insanely great games. We are in the middle of a World Cup. It is also a shame that it is not presented in the same light. There is a World Cup every four years. And then you can turn it around in all sorts of ways and say "Well, is this more important than the other?" No, of course it isn’t. And that is also why DBU has done so much and we have been very clear about the whole thing for a very long time, also from our side. So I don't think it's too much to ask and say: Let's talk football now, let's concentrate on that. That's what we're here for."

But could you also have closed that debate. I also know it is a yellow card, or have thought of another solution, give it to a 3rd goalkeeper. Is it a larger principled discussion that politics should not come into play and influence the sporting?

Simon Kjær: "We've been saying that all along. I also think it is a bit too easy on your part to just say "won't it just solve it" and then you could close it there. Believe me, then you would have found something else to talk about. Then you had found another problem and then we had not done enough of this and that, on some other points. So, I don't think it's entirely fair. I think it's a bit easy to set it up that way. We have made it very clear from the start that we will not compromise on the sporting side. That has not been done in this situation either."

Thanks for that Simon Kjær

Simon Kjær: "You're welcome."

Many thanks to Randi for the English translation.