England v Denmark: Couples face relationship rivalry with semi-final match

English-Danish couples face relationship rivalry when their sides meet in the Euro 2020 semi-final.

The teams will go head to head on Wednesday, with one couple describing the match as “tense”, and the winner advancing to Sunday’s final.

England supporter and acupuncturist Dan Bevan, 52, will be watching with partner Inge-Lise Nygaard, 50, a classical singer from Denmark, and her daughter Emilia – a footballer who played in West Ham’s academy last season.

Mr Bevan told the PA news agency: “We were out with friends when the England v Ukraine match was on and I was getting more and more excited and I could see Inge-Lise getting more and more tense in the corner knowing that the better team were going to be playing them in the semi-finals.

Dan Bevan and partner Inge-Lise Nygaard (Dan Bevan/PA)
Dan Bevan and partner Inge-Lise Nygaard (Dan Bevan/PA)

“The only consolation is Inge-Lise says ‘unlucky in games, lucky in love’ (a Danish saying), so I might get a cuddle at the end of it if we lose.”

He added: “I love the Danes, they’re such a happy people, such a young-spirited country and I was gripped by the spirit of 92 when Denmark did so well and went on to win it.

“It would be terrible but I’m quite used to England losing in semi-finals so it would be a silver lining.”

Ms Nygaard, who describes herself as “competitive”, said she feels a lot of football fans are behind Denmark, following the shock cardiac arrest of Christian Eriksen during the team’s group opener.

“Even English people say ‘actually, I’ll be happy if Denmark win’,” she said.

“My daughter will be happy either way as she’s half English and half Danish, and my son is the same.”

She added: “I think Denmark is going to go and win it, not maybe the whole thing, but they’re going to win.”

Elizabeth, 52, and Torben Simpson, 54, from Colchester, said they “won’t fall out over the match, but there will be a bit of banter on the night”.

Mr Simpson, who has a Danish mother, said he was “firmly” supporting Denmark, with their three children – aged 19, 18 and 13 – divided between the teams.

Mrs Simpson, who is supporting England, said: “We’ve got a team in the final either way, so we are happy.

“It’ll be a big, big night in our house.”

Mr Simpson added: “The middle child has been going around the singing ‘It’s coming home’ which raises a wry smile.

“But there is something extra driving Denmark in this match.”