Posted on Apr 24
Denmark's football coach Morten Olsen, seen here in February 2012, has banned his Euro 2012 squad from using social media during the championship to improve their focus on the game, officials said Tuesday, sparking criticism from players and the government.

Denmark's football coach has banned his Euro 2012 squad from using social media during the championship to improve their focus on the game, officials said Tuesday, sparking criticism from players and the government.

"The coach of the Danish team (Morten Olsen) is opposed to players using their private Facebook or Twitter accounts during the Euro 2012," a spokesman for the Danish football federation, Lars Berendt, told AFP.

"There are only 24 hours in the day" and players need to concentrate on the championship, Berendt said.

Instead, the federation "has chosen a series of other means of communication," including an official Facebook page, a mobile phone application and a live Internet chat, he said.

Denmark star forward Nicklas Bentner was one of those unhappy with the diktat.

"I don't agree with it but I'll respect their decision," Bentner told Danish television TV2, adding: "It would have been nice for the players to express some thoughts."

Denmark's Culture Minister Uffe Elbaek, whose dossier includes sporting affairs, meanwhile lambasted the move.

"I absolutely do not understand this decision," Elbaek told Danish public broadcaster DR, adding he wanted an explanation from the federation.

Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen meanwhile took to his Twitter account to express a more conciliatory approach.

"There was a time when we lived without Twitter and we can do it again during the European Championships. The Facebook page and daily contact with the press will keep everyone up to date," he tweeted.

Euro 2012 kicks off in Warsaw on June 8 and ends with the final on July 1 in Kiev, capital of Poland's co-host Ukraine.