Severely weakened Denmark lose 3-0 to Slovakia
TRNAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Denmark, fielding a severely weakened team containing footballers from the third tier of the national league and futsal players because of a pay dispute involving its top performers, was beaten 3-0 by Slovakia in a friendly on Wednesday.
Slovakia strolled to victory against a Danish side lacking star names like Christian Eriksen and Kasper Schmeichel.
Organizers dropped ticket prices to 1 euro ($1.16) because of the depleted visiting team.
Slovakia, which included leading players like Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik and former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, said before the game that its squad had been harmed by the Danish dispute and asked European football’s governing body UEFA to deal with the case, and confer “adequate consequences”.
“It was tough to get motivated for a game like that,” Hamsik said.
The home side went ahead when forward Adam Nemec beat Denmark goalkeeper Christoffer Haagh, who is a futsal player, with a header in the 11th minute.
Albert Rusnak made it 2-0 in the 37th minute before substitute Adam Fogt put through his own net with 11 minutes left.
Negotiations collapsed between the Danish footballers’ union and the national federation (DBU) over a new collective bargaining agreement regarding commercial rights, and players from the original squad were sent back to their club teams on Monday.
The previous collective bargaining agreement expired on July 31 and the two parties have been unable to agree a new one.
The DBU called the result an “honorable defeat.”
It remains to be seen what sort of team Denmark will field in its opening UEFA Nations League game at home to Wales on Sunday. Slovakia begins its campaign in Ukraine on the same day.