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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Uefa Nations League: Christian Eriksen calls for truce in Denmark player row

The Danish Football Association, fearing the prospect of a Uefa ban if they do not fulfil the fixture against Wales, have invited players from futsal and the first and second divisions in domestic football to join squad

Christian Eriksen says the DBU and the players' union 'have to solve this conflict now, not just digging the ditches deeper.' Reuters
Christian Eriksen says the DBU and the players' union 'have to solve this conflict now, not just digging the ditches deeper.' Reuters

Christian Eriksen has called for a truce in the extraordinary row that threatens to see Denmark field uncapped players from the lower divisions against Wales on Sunday.

Denmark's preparations for their Uefa Nations League game opener against Wales are in turmoil after an extraordinary row over the players' commercial rights.

The Danish Football Association (DBU), fearing the prospect of a Uefa ban if they do not fulfil the fixture in Aarhus, have invited players from Superligaen and the first and second divisions in domestic football to play in Denmark's two games.

The Danes have a friendly in Slovakia on Wednesday and it has been reported in Denmark that a 23-man squad will gather on Tuesday afternoon to fly to Bratislava.

But the Danish Player Association (Spillerforeningen) have urged the DBU to reconsider and told the governing body that the national squad is willing to play the two games under the terms of their old agreement.

"We have to solve this conflict now, not just digging the ditches deeper," Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Eriksen said in a statement published on the Spillerforeningen website.

"So we're happy to stretch our hand again, even though DBU put it away in the first try.

"Let's renew the old deal by one month. Then we have organised relationships right now and we are prepared to play the international matches this week.

"And then we have time after the two international matches to negotiate the entire agreement in place.

"It does not make sense if DBU does not accept that offer.

"The agreement has been working for years and should only run one month longer.

"Sign up and we will sit on the plane immediately. We are ready and we will play."

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Denmark, who reached the last 16 of the World Cup in Russia this summer and are ninth in the Fifa rankings, have been beset by internal problems over the past 12 months.

The national 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 (Dh85,000).

The DBU was also warned that Denmark would be barred from Uefa tournaments if it cancelled another match in the next four years.

So failing to play Wales would almost certainly see Denmark expelled from the 2020 European Championship.

DBU chief executive Claus Bretton-Meyer said on Monday that the Wales game would go ahead, but he branded the dispute "regrettable" with the two parties holding 26 meetings on the issue in 2018.

Eriksen added: "We could all be home in our clubs who pay our wages - at home by our wives and children.

"There is only one reason why we are here - and it's not money.

"We are here because we love to play for Denmark - and proud of the many millions we play for children and the breadth of Danish football, and the work we do for the whole of Danish football.

"For example, making up for DBUs events and for their sponsors, as we have always done."

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