We’re all mildly excited (or possibly just confused) about the inaugural UEFA Nations League games coming up this week.
But in Denmark, their preparations are already in tatters after an extraordinary row over commercial rights.
In fact, it’s so bad that the entire team has gone on strike, meaning the likes of Christian Eriksen, Kasper Schmeichel and Andreas Christensen won’t be turning out for the Danes in their upcoming games against Slovakia and Wales.
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So, no team means you can’t play, right?
Well, unfortunately for Denmark, they still have to name a team – as failing to do so would’ve meant exclusion from the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament – so the DBU (Denmark’s Football Association) have been forced to call upon a second-string team, made up of players from Denmark’s third-tier and even futsal players.
For those of you who don’t know, futsal is a five-a-side equivalent of football that’s played indoors on small hard courts.
It seems Denmark aren’t even particularly good at futsal, and are currently ranked 51st in the world rankings. Digging deeper, it look like they lost 11-2 to Azerbaijan back in March 2015.
In fact, this is so ridiculous that one of Denmark’s futsal players is in fact a YouTube Football Freestyler called ‘Brizze’.
We’re guessing this is him:
How’s it come to this?
Well, it all boils down to DBU’s dispute with players making individual sponsorship agreements with companies that are competing with national team sponsors.
The stand-off is based around the DBU’s desire for more flexible rules about using players in commercial contexts, but the footballers’ union of Denmark wants sponsorship deals to focus on the team, instead of individuals.
As a result then, it looks like Gareth Bale could be facing off against a bunch of unknowns for Wales next week.
This could be interesting.
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