Bendtner turns down Denmark Under-21 invite

COPENHAGEN - Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has turned down the chance to play for Denmark on home soil at the Under-21 European Championship next month, citing family reasons.

A statement on the Danish Football Association's website on Thursday said that although the 23-year-old was eligible to play as an over-age player, he has decided to spend time with his young son instead.

"My private situation has changed a lot in the last six months and if I am to try to have any quality time with my son in his first year, it demands good planning and time from my side," Bendtner, who has 38 caps and 12 goals for the Danish national senior team, said.

"With that in mind, I have chosen not to take part in this tournament."

Bendtner struggled this season to hold down a starting spot at Arsenal, whose manager Arsene Wenger was upset by England's Jack Wilshere being called up for their provisional Under-21 squad for the June tournament.