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Denmark calls up second-string players amid dispute with regular stars

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By Chris Harris  with Reuters
Denmark calls up second-string players amid dispute with regular stars

Denmark has been forced to call up football players from its five-a-side indoor format because of a dispute with the country’s regular squad members.

The conflict is over the rights of players, including Tottenham Hotspur starlet Christian Eriksen (pictured, above), to make individual sponsorship agreements with companies competing with national team sponsors.

Talks broke down on Sunday and the Danish Football Association (DBU) faced the team being expelled from the 2020 European Championships if they had failed to have fulfilled their scheduled fixtures this week.

Denmark are set to play Slovakia in a friendly on Wednesday and Wales in a Nations League game on Sunday.

The DBU has now named a second-string squad for the matches.

Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet says the squad includes players from the national futsal team, a five-a-side soccer game played mainly indoors on small, hard courts.

The dispute has also seen the team’s manager, Age Hareide, step aside for the two matches. He will be replaced by former midfielder John Jensen.

"It is a deeply regrettable situation we are in,” Claus Bretton-Meyer, chief executive of DBU, said on Monday. “Both for the team, fans and for all in Danish football.

“Now we are working to get the best possible players to play the two matches for Denmark. It is crucial for the future of Danish football.”