Hot on the footsteps of a fight between two members of the Sweden squad, two Danish players today launched into their own training-ground bust-up.
Chelsea winger Jesper Gronkjaer and Bolton’s Stig Tofting were involved in a wrestling match after an incident which also involved another FA Barclaycard Premiership player, Everton’s Thomas Gravesen.
The scuffle started after Gronkjaer was ambushed by Tofting and Gravesen, who jumped on the winger during stretching exercises, sprayed him with water bottles and put ice cubes down his shorts.
The good-natured horseplay turned sour after Gronkjaer hurt his eye, was seen by the team doctor and then went to confront Tofting. Words were exchanged before, in front of astonished members of the Danish press, the pair wrestled each other to the ground with Tofting’s hand around his team-mate’s throat.
An eyewitness said: ‘‘They were just horsing around before then suddenly it was a serious fight.
‘‘It was over quickly, maybe five or six seconds, but it was a real fight - Tofting had his hand around his throat.
‘‘Team officials shouted ‘stop, stop’ and Tofting finally let him go.’’
Afterwards, Danish FA official Jim Stjerne-Hansen told journalists: ‘‘These players need a kindergarten teacher to sort them out.’’
The incident follows last week’s bust-up between Sweden’s Arsenal star Freddie Ljungberg and Aston Villa’s Olof Mellberg, after the Gunners player reacted angrily to a bad challenge.
Tofting is known as the ’midfield enforcer’ of the Denmark side, and he and Gravesen have formed a boisterous partnership which has reportedly caused offence to some of the quieter members of the squad.
Over the last few days, the pair have - in an apparent jibe aimed at their Swedish rivals - been jumping on team-mates and throwing them to the ground.