Top players back for Denmark after truce in contract dispute
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark will have its top players available again for the UEFA Nations League game against Wales on Sunday after a temporary agreement was reached between the country’s soccer association and its players’ union following a contract dispute.
The national team was forced to field a severely weakened lineup containing some futsal players for the friendly against Slovakia on Wednesday after the collapse of negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement regarding commercial rights. The dispute led to players from the original squad, including Christian Eriksen and Kasper Schmeichel, being sent back to their clubs.
The federation, known as the DBU, said the game against Wales “will be played under the same conditions as earlier and that the commercial rights will be handled as previous.”
The DBU said both parties decided that no details of Thursday’s deal would be disclosed “in respect for the players’ need for calm to concentrate” on the game.
A new meeting, aimed at reaching a permanent deal, has been scheduled for Monday.
“This is good for the national side and for everyone in Danish football,” DBU chairman Jesper Moller said in a joint statement released late Thursday, “so we can play the important Nations League match with the right team.”
Denmark announced its 23-man squad on Friday, featuring the same players selected in the original group last week.
“The agreement is a step in the right direction,” said Mads Oland, director of the players’ union, “and the national team players are happy that they can now focus on the match against Wales on Sunday.”
The previous collective bargaining agreement expired on July 31 and the two parties were unable to agree on a new one ahead of Denmark’s latest matches.
Slovakia eased to a 3-0 win over the depleted Danes, whose entire team featured players from the country’s lower leagues. Organizers dropped ticket prices to 1 euro ($1.16) for the match.
Slovakia has asked UEFA to look at the case and confer “adequate consequences.”