Not a common reason for missing a game, it must be said.
Tonight, Club Brugge travel to Borussia Dortmund for what should be a significant Champions League encounter for both teams.
After three matchdays in Group F, Dortmund are sitting top with six points. However, they are only one point above Lazio and two ahead of Brugge (Zenit St Petersburg are bottom with a single point).
It’s pretty open, then, at the halfway point. Dortmund are well accustomed to the business end of the Champions League, of course, having contested in the quarter-final three times since reaching the final in 2013.
For Lazio, this year represents a brilliant opportunity to return to the Champions League’s knockout rounds for the first time since 2000.
It has been even longer for Brugge. A European heavyweight in the 70s, the Belgians reached the UEFA Cup final in 1976 and the European Cup showpiece two years later, losing to Liverpool on both occasions.
That run in ’78 is still their most recent experience of knockout football in Europe’s premier club competition.
It is safe to say, then, that their clash with Dortmund is a big night for the club.
Brugge are, of course, massive underdogs. Dortmund are a superior team and are fresh from putting five past Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga, with recent Golden Boy winner Erling Haaland bagging four.
But Brugge’s task will be even more difficult without striker Emmanuel Dennis.
The 23-year-old Nigerian, who made headlines when he scored twice against Real Madrid last season, will not be involved against Dortmund – and it is reportedly for a pretty extraordinary reason.
According to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, Dennis stormed off Brugge’s team bus after being told he could not sit where he wanted.
Brugge boss Philippe Clement confirmed Dennis’ absence was due to a disciplinary issue but did not expand into any bus-exiting specifics.
“Dennis is fit, but not in our selection,” Clement is quoted as saying by Nieuwsblad.
“He didn’t follow the club’s rules, that’s all I want to say. I prefer to concentrate on the players who are available to me.”
It is possible that Dennis was unable to sit in his preferred seat due to Covid-19 guidelines, but regardless of the reason, throwing a strop for not getting a nice seat is remarkably poor form.
It’s going to be a big night for Brugge. Win and they will take a significant step towards the round of 16. Lose and they may need to beat Lazio and Zenit in their final two games to stand a chance.
Either way, Dennis won’t be involved. And if the reports of him storming off the bus are indeed accurate, he will surely be kicking himself if his teammates take three points back to Belgium.