Eriksen calls for truce in Denmark row that could lead to futsal players facing Slovakia and Wales

By Sports Desk September 04, 2018

Christian Eriksen has called for a temporary truce in the row between the team and the Danish Football Association (DBU) that could see uncapped lower-league players or even futsal professionals face Wales in their UEFA Nations League match.

Preparations for Sunday's game have been thrown into chaos due to a dispute over a sponsor agreement between the DBU and Denmark's senior internationals.

The DBU is said to have rejected an offer from Spillerforeningen, the footballers' union of Denmark, to play the friendly with Slovakia on Wednesday and the game with Wales under a temporary extension of their previous deal.

There is a genuine concern that Denmark could be without their established squad or coach Age Hareide if the deadlock is not broken, and the DBU is reportedly considering calling up players from Denmark's lower leagues or even using members of the futsal team to make up the numbers for the trip to Trnava.

Tottenham star Eriksen has now implored the authorities to accept the offer of playing the next two matches under the terms of their old deal, insisting money is not the priority for the squad, who reached the last 16 of the World Cup in Russia.

"We're here to solve this conflict now, not just dig the ditches deeper," Eriksen said in a statement published on the Spillerforeningen website.

"Let's renew the old deal by one month. We are prepared to play the international matches this week and then we have time after the matches to negotiate the whole agreement.

"It does not make sense for the DBU not to accept that offer. The agreement has been worked on for years and should only run one month longer. Sign it, and we will sit on the plane immediately. We are ready and we will play.

"We could all be at home with our clubs, who pay our wages – at home with our wives and children. There is only one reason we are here, and it's not money. 

"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.

"The players fully agree that conversation, negotiation and playing international matches must be the way forward."

The stand-off is thought to be based around the DBU's desire for more flexible rules about using players in commercial contexts, while the Spillerforeningen wants sponsorship deals to focus on the team instead of individuals.

There is a fear that UEFA could hit Denmark with a huge fine and ban if they do not play their opening Nations League match.

Last year, the women's team boycotted a World Cup qualifier with Sweden over a pay dispute. The DBU was fined and warned Denmark could be excluded from any UEFA tournament if another match was cancelled in the next four years.

DBU communications manager Jakob Hoyer insisted this week they did not want to discuss a new deal on the eve of matches and be forced into an unsatisfactory agreement.

"We do not want to negotiate so close to international matches," he said. "That was what happened in 2015 and led to a historically poor national team agreement that has created so many problems."

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