The fight of women's national team players for better compensation and working conditions in Europe took on a new dimension as Friday's Women's World Cup qualifier between Danish, the Euro 2017
runner-up, and Sweden was called off because the Danes refused to play.
Denmark could be penalized a points deduction or face expulsion from the Women's World Cup in addition to being
Previously, a friendly against the Netherlands -- a rematch of the Euro 2017 final -- was called off because of the dispute. Denmark has played only one qualifier, a 6-1 over
Talks between the Danish federation (DBU) and the players have been going on since last November. The current collective bargaining agreement expired in September.
“We do not negotiate to get rich," veteran Sanne Troelsgard
, one of four players with more than 100 caps, said recently. "It is about ensuring that we can live up to our own and
The DBU offered to increase its budget for the women's national team from $412,000 a year to $729,000. The rub: It doesn't want the players to be
classified as employees.
As it stands now, the Danish women are paid only $400 for each call-up to qualifiers but only receive tickets, no cash payments, for friendlies.
few of the Danish stars have professional contracts -- Nadia Nadim
played for the 2017 NWSL champion Portland Thorns and will move to Manchester City -- but many of players aren't pros
and don't receive a regular salary.
The Danish women have the backing of the Spillerforeningen, the national players' union, and are seeking a monthly salary of $1,200 a month.
They aren't the first European women's team to ask for better working conditions. The Irish and Scottish national teams reached agreements earlier this year.