DENMARK’S games against Slovakia and Wales this week have been thrown into chaos following a dispute between the Danish players and their Football Association, the DBU.
The Denmark squad, which features English-based players such as Christian Eriksen and Kasper Schmeichel, have been at loggerheads for several months over a new commercial rights agreement.
The issue reached crisis point last night when the deadline set for a new deal passed without any agreement.
The Danish Player Association, known as Spillerne, responded by announcing they will try to “save” Wednesday’s friendly against Slovakia and the Uefa Nations League opener with Wales on Sunday by offering to temporarily extend the old deal.
But the DBU could now field an entirely domestic-based squad to ensure the games go ahead, thus avoiding the prospect of a Uefa ban that could see them removed from the 2020 European Championship.
In a strongly worded statement, Spillerne said the DBU had not wanted to negotiate with them over the weekend.
“The players are surprised that the DBU has discontinued the negotiations,” it said.
“There is currently no agreement between the DBU and the Player Association for the national team players and it has always been established that the national team does not play without a collective agreement.
“However, as the Player Association has not succeeded in luring DBU to the negotiating table either Saturday or Sunday, players [will] now try to save the two national matches against Slovakia and Wales in the coming week with a new offer to temporarily extend the old deal.”
Denmark reached the last 16 of the World Cup in Russia this summer before losing to eventual finalists Croatia on a penalty shoot-out.
Age Hareide’s side are a lofty ninth in the Fifa rankings, but Danish football has been beset by internal problems over the past 12 months.
The women’s team boycotted a World Cup qualifier against Sweden in October 2017 in a dispute over employment conditions.
Sweden were awarded a 3-0 win and Uefa fined the DBU £18,000.
The DBU was also warned that Denmark would be barred from Uefa tournaments if it cancelled another match in the next four years.
FC Copenhagen midfielder William Kvist, who is part of the Player Association’s negotiating team, told the official Spillerne website: “We players will do anything to play, so we would like to offer DBU to extend the old deal until October 1 2018, with a view to finalising a new collective national team agreement so we can play the two national matches under orderly conditions and afterwards there will be plenty of time to negotiate a new deal in place.
“The old deal has been working for four years, so you can not work for a month. Then we have made extra time and we think our proposal can save the international matches.
“We find it strange that DBU chose to stop the negotiations, but we think of the whole of Danish football from the smallest to the biggest and will do everything for Danish football to not suffer under the big consequences of cancelled matches.”
DBU president Jesper Moller said: “It is regrettable and serious that there is no new national team agreement.
“The crucial thing is now that the two national matches will be played.
“The board has therefore asked DBU management that the two international matches will be played with the strongest possible team.
“Otherwise, we risk major fines and possible exclusion from Uefa.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.