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Denmark could field team of amateurs against Wales over player dispute

Ireland’s Nations League opponents are in crisis, with the senior squad involved in a row with the football federation.

The Danish players after their World Cup exit to Croatia.
The Danish players after their World Cup exit to Croatia.
Image: DPA/PA Images

DANISH FOOTBALL IS in serious turmoil right now. 

With the start of the Uefa Nations League just days away, Denmark’s football federation (DBU) is in a dispute with its senior team over a commercial rights deal. 

The players, including top names such as Christian Eriksen, are refusing to sign a new agreement, while manager Age Hareide and assistant Jon Dahl Tomasson have been temporarily relieved of their duties. 

Denmark, who beat Ireland in a World Cup play-off before reaching the last-16 in Russia this summer, have been drawn with the Boys in Green and Wales in their Nations League group. 

They are scheduled to face Ryan Giggs’ side in Aarhus on Sunday, and, according to the Telegraph, the DBU has written to the Danish Super League and the lower divisions in an effort to field a team, which could potentially be made up of amateur players.

However, the players’ union has called on its members to stand with the senior squad and refuse the invitation. 

There would be serious ramifications if Denmark were unable to fulfill the fixture, with a Uefa ban and a significant fine on the cards. 

“It is a deeply regrettable situation we are in both for the team, fans and for all in Danish football,” said DBU chief executive Claus Bretton-Meyer in a statement released yesterday

“We had hoped that the players would meet when we offered them the same fee, bonus, paid insurance and better flight, cook and treatment conditions.

Now we are working to get the best possible players to play the two matches for Denmark.

“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.”

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Ben Blake

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