Dispute sees Denmark name futsal players for international

Denmark are set to field a team made up of futsal and lower league players in two full internationals this week amid a dispute between players and the Danish football authorities.

Senior Danish players are refusing to sign a new deal with the Danish Football Association (DBU) because of a dispute over commercial rights.

With a settlement looking unlikely, the DBU has confirmed that futsal players, plus members of third and fourth-tier teams will make up the squad for Thursday’s friendly against Slovakia and Sunday’s Nations League game versus Wales.

At issue are the rights of players to make individual deals with sponsors while representing Denmark, while travel conditions are also a point of contention.

The DBU rejected an offer at the weekend from the players’ association to play the games under the terms of their most recent deal.

Christian Eriksen, a member of the association said the players had offered again to fulfil the fixtures under the old terms on Tuesday.

“We again offer a temporary extension of the old agreement – and then we travel to Slovakia today,” a statement quoted the Spurs midfielder as saying.

“All in all, the whole national team, together we enter the agreement and together we save the face of Danish football. We are right here and want to play football for Denmark – as always.

“We have to solve this conflict now, not just dig the ditches deeper. So we’re happy to extend our hand again… let’s renew the old deal by one month.”

Danish Superliga and First Division players have not been included in the 24-man squad, their places instead taken by second division, plus third and fourth-tier players.

Five of the 24-man squad are members of Denmark’s national futsal squad.

Denmark coach Age Hareide and his assistant Jon Dahl Tomasson will not be in charge of the team, the DBU saying that they should not have to as they did not pick the squad.

Should Denmark fail to fulfill its commitment it could face a fine and possible ban from UEFA.

DBU chief executive officer Claus Bretton-Meyer said in a statement that the current impasse was “deeply regrettable”.

“It is crucial for the future of Danish football. If the games are not played, we may be fighting millions in fines and exclusions for both national teams – and Danish football will be returned to the stone age in many areas.”