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Former Arsenal, Denmark forward Bendtner jailed 50 days for assault

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) Former Denmark forward Niklas Bendtner has been sentenced to 50 days in jail and fined 1,500 kroner ($230) after being found guilty of assault.

Bendtner was charged with beating and kicking a cab driver in Copenhagen on Sept. 9. The 30-year-old Dane admitted hitting the man but said he had acted in self-defense after a quarrel over the fare.

[READ: U.S. Under-20s kick off World Cup qualifying with big win]

Denmark’s TV2 channel says the Rosenborg forward immediately appealed Friday’s ruling.

The cab driver, whose jaw was broken, was acquitted of violence but fined 3,000 kroner ($460) for using his telephone while driving and not wearing his seatbelt.

Bendtner, a former Arsenal and Juventus forward, has not been selected for his national team in recent months because of his poor shape.

UEFA Nations League: Germany trounced by Netherlands

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League…

[ MORE: Thierry Henry announced as AS Monaco manager ]

Netherlands 3-0 Germany

Germany’s disastrous 2018 continued on Saturday with a 3-0 defeat in Amsterdam, dropping Joachim Loew’s side to the bottom of League A Group 1 with just one point from its first two games.

Virgil Van Dijk opened the scoring with a header in the 30th minute, and the score remained 1-0 for nearly an hour, until Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum made it 2-0 and 3-0 in the 86th and 92nd minutes, respectively.

Germany’s 2018 record now stands at 3W-2D-5L in all competitions (1W-1D-3L in competitive fixtures). Saturday was the first time Germany lost a game — competitive or otherwise — since Oct. 17, 2007.

Ireland 0-0 Denmark

The home side, Ireland conceded 65 percent of possession to the visiting Danes, were out-shot 15-3 (3-1 on target), and completed barely 70 percent of their passes, but managed to hold on for an invaluable home point — their first in League B Group 4 play. Alas, the Boys in Green sit bottom of the group with their solitary point from two games and appear headed for relegation to League C.

Elsewhere in UEFA Nations League action

League B Group 1

Slovakia 1-2 Czech Republic — MORE

League C Group 3

Norway 1-0 Slovenia
Bulgaria 2-1 Cyprus

League D Group 1

Latvia 1-1 Kazakhstan
Georgia 3-0 Andorra

League D Group 4

Armenia 0-1 Gibraltar
Macedonia 4-1 Lichtenstein

Sunday’s UEFA Nations League schedule (all games start at 2:45 p.m. ET, unless noted)

League A Group 3

Poland vs. Italy

League B Group 2

Russia vs. Turkey — 12 p.m. ET

League C Group 1

Israel vs. Albania

League C Group 4

Romania vs. Serbia — 9 a.m. ET
Lithuania vs. Montenegro

League D Group 3

Azerbaijan vs. Malta — 12 p.m. ET
Faroe Islands vs. Kosovo — 12 p.m. ET

Former Denmark forward apologizes for Copenhagen episode

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OSLO, Norway (AP) Former Denmark international Niklas Bendtner has apologized for an episode over the weekend in which a cab driver in Copenhagen reportedly broke his jaw.

The Rosenborg forward says he had been “involved in a very unpleasant situation at around 2 a.m. Sunday. I am of course extremely sorry about that the outcome.”

[ MORE: USMNT-Mexico preview ]

Bendtner’s lawyer told Danish media that his client is innocent of any wrongdoing. The cab company says it has handed a video of the episode over to the police.

Bendtner’s girlfriend said on Instagram that the player had acted in self-defense after a quarrel over the fare.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Denmark’s first choice players will face Wales after agreement to meet

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A pay dispute that kept Premier League stars Christian Eriksen, Kasper Schmeichel, and Jannik Vestergard out of the Denmark squad for a friendly against Slovakia has been resolved before the Danes kick off their first UEFA Nations League match.

[ MORE: Liverpool deny Rabiot contact ]

Denmark had to scramble together a team with fourth-tier, fifth-tier, and futsal players for a 3-0 loss to Slovakia. Tickets for the match cost about a dollar in Slovakia.

The embarrassing incident has led to a “step in the right direction,” which is an agreement between players and the federation to meet regarding the commercial rights/image dispute. From the BBC:

Danish FA president Jesper Moller said: “We can play the important Nations League match with the right national team and again focus on the sport.”

The Danish governing body and players association say neither party will make any more comment on the issue before the match.

The players’ continued boycott threatened to cost Denmark its chance to advance in a Nations League group with Wales and the Republic of Ireland. Wales blasting Ireland in the opener, and getting another three points in Denmark next week would give Ryan Giggs‘ and Gareth Bale‘s side a foot in League A for 2020-21.

Denmark, without stars protesting pay dispute, hammered by Slovakia

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TRNAVA, Slovakia (AP) Denmark, fielding a severely weakened team containing footballers from the third tier of the national league because of a pay dispute involving its best players, was beaten 3-0 by Slovakia in a friendly on Wednesday.

Slovakia strolled to victory against a Danish side lacking star names like Christian Eriksen and Kasper Schmeichel.

Organizers dropped ticket prices to 1 euro ($1.16) because of the depleted visiting team.

Slovakia, which fielded top performers like Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik and former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, said before the game that its squad had been harmed by the Danish dispute and asked European football’s governing body UEFA to deal with the case, and confer “adequate consequences”.

The home side went ahead when forward Adam Nemec beat Denmark goalkeeper Christoffer Haagh, who is a futsal player, with a header in the 11th minute.

Albert Rusnak made it 2-0 in the 37th minute before substitute Adam Fogt put through his own net with 11 minutes left.

Negotiations collapsed between the Danish footballers’ union and the national federation (DBU) over a new collective bargaining agreement regarding commercial rights, and players from the original squad were sent back to their club teams on Monday.

The previous collective bargaining agreement expired on July 31 and the two parties have been unable to agree a new one.

It remains to be seen what sort of team Denmark will field in its opening UEFA Nations League game at home to Wales on Sunday. Slovakia begins its campaign in Ukraine on the same day.