UEFA hit with shocking allegations over Christian Eriksen collapse

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·Sports Editor
·3-min read
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Denmark players, pictured here gathering as paramedics attend to Christian Eriksen.
Denmark players gather as paramedics attend to Christian Eriksen. (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY/AFP via Getty Images)

UEFA has been forced to defend itself after allegations that Denmark players were pressured to resume their Euro 2020 game against Finland after Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field.

Eriksen fell face-forward onto the field in the 43rd minute of the game against Finland on Saturday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

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Denmark's team doctor has since revealed that Eriksen's heart stopped and he had to be revived on the pitch before he was rushed to hospital.

The match was halted so Eriksen could receive critical care before it eventually resumed about 90 minutes later, with Finland going on to win 1-0.

But UEFA's decision to restart the match has sparked widespread backlash, with many believing Eriksen's rattled teammates shouldn't have been put in that position.

“UEFA is sure it treated the matter with utmost respect for the sensitive situation and for the players," the governing body said on Monday. "It was decided to restart the match only after the two teams requested to finish the game on the same evening.”

However Denmark great Peter Schmeichel, the father of current national team goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, questioned that claim on British TV.

Schmeichel said the players felt they had little choice when given the options to resume, come back on Sunday at noon, or forfeit the game as a 3-0 loss.

“I actually saw an official quote from UEFA saying they were following the advice of the players — the players insisted on playing. I know that not to be the truth,” he told Good Morning Britain.

“Or, it’s how you see the truth.

“They were left with three options. One was to play immediately and get the last 50 minutes played. The next one was to come in (the day after) at 12 noon and finish the 50 minutes. And the third option was to forfeit the game and lose 3-0.

“So, work it out for yourself. Is it the players’ wish to play? Did they have any choice really? I don’t think they had.”

Teammates, pictured here escorting paramedics evacuating Christian Eriksen from the field.
Teammates escort paramedics evacuating Christian Eriksen from the field. (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY/AFP via Getty Images)

Denmark players criticise decision to resume match

Kasper Schmeichel has since said: "We were put in a position, that I personally feel that we shouldn’t have been put in."

The Leicester City goalkeeper said he wishes someone would’ve said “that it wasn’t the time to take that decision, and that we should maybe wait until the day after to decide”.

“What has happened has happened, and hopefully they’ll learn from this,” Schmeichel said.

Teammate Martin Braithwaite said the players “wanted a third option, because we didn’t want to play."

“It was one of the only possibilities we had, and we were told we should make a decision."

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UEFA said “the players’ need for 48 hours’ rest between matches eliminated other options.”

"It's a ridiculous decision by UEFA, they should have tried to work out a different scenario and shown a little bit of compassion, and they didn't," Peter Schmeichel said.

"Something terrible like that happens and UEFA gives the players an option to go out and play the game or come back at 1200 on Sunday. What kind of option is that?

"There is no way that game should have been played last night. 

"Not one player on that pitch was in the right mindset to be playing a game of football."

with agencies

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