June 20, 2018 / 3:19 PM / 5 months ago

Danish players fly team mate home to see newborn daughter

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup - Denmark Training - Elsingoer, Denmark - June 6, 2018 - Jonas Knudsen during Denmark's national team training. Ritzau Scanpix/Mads Claus Rasmussen/via REUTERS

SAMARA, Russia (Reuters) - Denmark’s players clubbed together so defender Jonas Knudsen could fly home on a private jet to see his new-born daughter shortly after the win over Peru in their first match at the World Cup.

Knudsen’s wife Trine gave birth to a girl several weeks earlier than expected after he had already arrived in Russia.

In a gesture of team unity, the players decided to pay for the jet to fly Knudsen home shortly after the 1-0 victory against Peru in Group C on Saturday.

“I think you have to remember we are human beings as well as footballers,” said goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

“As a father myself I cannot imagine how hard it was for Jonas getting that message and not being there.

“There are lots of fathers in the squad and so we wanted to look at the human side and do anything for him to see his daughter.”

It was only a brief visit for Knudsen, who returned to the camp on Monday in preparation for Denmark’s meeting with Australia on Thursday in Samara.

Reporting by Jack Tarrant

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