The Denmark national team is in disarray ahead of the Nations League.
Due to a dispute over commercial rights, senior Danish players have refused to sign a new national team agreement with the Danish FA.
This means that none of the country’s star players will be available for the upcoming games against Slovakia (friendly) and Wales, and manager Age Hareide won’t be in charge either.
Former Denmark international John Jensen is set to take the reins, but unless the dispute is solved before the impending fixtures, he will be without all of the players who reached the last 16 of the World Cup in Russia this summer.
The Danish Football Association (DBU) will apparently turn to futsal players and some lower league players in order to field a team for their Nations League opener. According to BBC Sport, while most Danish teams aren’t making players available for selection, Second Division top scorer Christian Offenberg has offered his services for both games.
The Danish Football Players’ Association (Spillerforeningen) proposed playing the two upcoming fixtures under the old national team agreement, but this suggestion was rejected by the DBU.
Christian Eriksen has pleaded for a resolution of the conflict, and has urged the DBU to extend the previous deal by a month.
“We again offer a temporary extension of the old agreement – and then we travel to Slovakia today,” the Spurs playmaker claimed in a statement.
“All in all, the whole national team, together we enter the agreement and together we save the face of Danish football. We are right here and want to play football for Denmark – as always.
“We have to solve this conflict now, not just digging the ditches deeper. So we’re happy to extend our hand again… let’s renew the old deal by one month.”
The Denmark women’s team also locked horns with the DBU last year, and boycotted a World Cup qualifier against Sweden in a dispute over employment conditions, which led to a fine from UEFA and an automatic 3-0 defeat.
DBU president Jesper Moller has described the current situation as “regrettable”, and highlighted the risk of possible exclusion from UEFA tournaments if Denmark do not field a team.
“It is regrettable and serious that there is no new national team agreement,” he told Sky Sports.
“The crucial thing is now that the two national matches will be played.
“The board has therefore asked DBU’s management that the two international matches will be played with the strongest possible team.
“Otherwise, we risk major fines and possible exclusion from Uefa.”
If the Danes fail to field a team, they face the realistic prospect of a ban from UEFA. Unless a resolution is reached in the next 24 hours, Slovakia will find themselves facing an international team full of amateurs in tomorrow night’s international friendly.
Denmark – ranked ninth in the world – are then set to take on Ryan Giggs’ Wales at Aarhus Stadium on Sunday in the UEFA Nations League.
The DBU has yet to confirm the names of the 23-player squad.