Denmark scrambles together new squad, coach amid pay dispute

Eriksen the Spurs midfielder has been at the forefront of the dispute by Danish players over bonuses

Eriksen the Spurs midfielder has been at the forefront of the dispute by Danish players over bonuses Pilar Olivares Reuters

Players for the Denmark national soccer team are locked in a dispute with the Danish Football Association (DBU) over commercial rights that could see a team of futsal players fielded for the country's Uefa Nations League opener against Wales on Sunday.

Playing against a second-string side gives Wales a major advantage against Denmark and could give them a head-start in qualifying for the 2020 Euros. "That would be the worst-case scenario".

The primary stumbling block in the negotiations is reported to relate to players' image rights, and the issue had raised the prospect of Denmark failing to fulfil this week's fixtures.

The DBU has been in contract talks with the DFPA for months and the governing body rejected a proposal from the union to extend the terms of the previous deal at the weekend.

Denmark coach Age Hareide has reportedly returned to his native Norway and his deputy, Jon Dahl Tomasson, could also be missing for the friendly match against Slovakia on Wednesday and the UEFA Nations League group game against Wales on Sunday.

The national women's team boycotted a World Cup qualifier against Sweden in October 2017 in a dispute over employment conditions. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.

"We're here because we love to play for Denmark and are proud of the many millions we play for and the breadth of Danish football, and the work we do for the whole of Danish football - for example, meeting up for the DBU events and their sponsors, as we have always done".

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It's also expected that manager Age Hareide and assistant Jon Dahl Tomasson will not be taking charge for the upcoming games, with Euro 92 victor John Jensen filling in.

"We need to solve this conflict now", Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eriksen said, "not just dig the trenches deeper".

"So let's renew the old deal by one month". Sign it, and we will sit on the plane immediately.

"Together we enter the deal and we all save the face of Danish football", the playmaker added.

"We feel a lot of support", Eriksen said in comments published by the players' union.

DBU chief executive Claus Bretton-Meyer said: "It is a deeply regrettable situation we are in both for the team, fans and for all in Danish football".

"It is crucial for the future of Danish football that we can play the two internationals this week, and therefore we are pleased that these 24 players have been willing to come through for Denmark", Hallberg said.

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