Tokyo Olympics: Dutch international Sherida Spitse withdraws from the Olympics following a knee injury


Dutch international Sherida Spitse had to withdraw from the Olympics after sustaining a knee injury during training on Monday.

This is a major setback for the Dutch gold hopefuls in the women’s football tournament.

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The 31-year-old midfielder, who has a record 188 caps for the national team, is an integral part of the Dutch squad, which are currently European champions and 2019 Women’s World Cup finalists.

Also at the Tokyo 2020 Games, he was among the favorites for medals.

“And suddenly my big dream is shattered. There are few words that can describe how much it hurts,” Spitse told Dutch media on Tuesday after a tackle in training resulted in a torn ligament.

“I always give 100%, even in the duels in training. It was just bad luck. It really sucks, for me and for the team.”

Dutch coach Sarina Wiegman, whose side face Zambia in Miyagi on Wednesday in their first Group F meeting, had sympathy for Spitse during Tuesday’s pre-match press conference.

“Her whole life is focused on football and this tournament. It is painful for her, but also for the team.”

“She’s a very important player for us, both on and off the pitch,” said Wiegman.

After the rest of the team learned that Spitse had to return home, tears flowed.

“It has a huge impact on the team. But at the same time everyone realizes that we have a goal here. We can handle this, we have already faced setbacks,” added Wiegman.

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Joëlle Smits from VfL Wolfsburg will replace Spitse. She was on the waiting list and was already training with the team.

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