Tuesday 11 December 2018

Danes call up Futsal players after dispute

Denmark head coach Age Hareide. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Denmark head coach Age Hareide. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Denmark have travelled to play tonight’s international friendly against Slovakia with a squad of players drawn from their third and fourth tiers and the sport of Futsal.

The Danish Football Association (DBU) have yet to reach a resolution in their dispute with their senior squad over commercial rights.

And there are still fears that it will not be resolved before Sunday’s UEFA Nations League opener with Wales – a farcical situation that could have implications for Ireland who are also in the same group and could be inconvenienced by a handy win for Ryan Giggs’ side.

The friendly with Slovakia is set to be a non-event as Denmark were not able to pick any players from their top two divisions with the players’ union urging members to stand in support with the national team stars.

Manager Age Hareide has also stepped aside for this fixture while the clash is ongoing with ex-Arsenal player and Euro ‘92 winner John Jensen stepping in as a short-term coach for a thrown together collection of individuals.

The DBU have managed to pull together a squad from the lower reaches of the football ladder. But they also have recruited some leading lights from the world of Futsal –  a variant of football played on a hard court and similar to five-a-side indoor football but with a smaller and harder ball.

The Danish squad – including star man Christian Eriksen – have stayed together in Copenhagen and had offered to play the Slovakia and Wales matches under the terms of their old rights arrangement.

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

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