Denmark boss blasts UEFA Euro 2020 protocol for finishing Finland tie after Eriksen’s cardiac arrest – Asia Despatch

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Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand wants lessons to be learned after claiming that UEFA;s matchday protocol contributed to his team having to play the rest of the game against Finland after Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest.

Eriksen collapsed shortly before half-time and received CPR on the pitch while his shocked Denmark team-mates formed a circle around him to shield the view from the outside world.

He was then taken to hospital and around 90 minutes later, Denmark were back out on the pitch to complete the game and lost 1-0. 

Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand said lessons need to be learned after his players were forced back out onto the pitch to finish their game against Finland after Christian Eriksen had a cardiac arrest

Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand said lessons need to be learned after his players were forced back out onto the pitch to finish their game against Finland after Christian Eriksen had a cardiac arrest

Eriksen received a CPR on the pitch while his Denmark team-mates formed a circle around him to shield the view from the outside world

Eriksen received a CPR on the pitch while his Denmark team-mates formed a circle around him to shield the view from the outside world

Eriksen gave fans a thumbs up on Instagram from hospital on Tuesday and thanked people for the wishes of support that he has received since Saturday

Eriksen gave fans a thumbs up on Instagram from hospital on Tuesday and thanked people for the wishes of support that he has received since Saturday

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, the Denmark manager outlined his dismay at the position his team were put in.

‘Coronavirus allows you to postpone a match for 48 hours. A cardiac arrest obviously does not,’ Hjulmand said at his Tuesday press conference. ‘That, I think, is wrong. 

‘There is learning here. It was not the right decision to continue playing. The boys showed so much strength by going out and playing on. 

‘But I do not think it was the right thing to give us and the players the choice to go out and finish play on Saturday or Sunday.’

Hjulmand added that a couple of the Denmark team have visited Eriksen in hospital. On Tuesday morning, Eriksen shared a selfie from his hospital bed and thanked people for all the support that he has received.

The 29-year old wrote: ‘Hello everyone. Big thanks for your sweet and amazing greetings and messages from all around the world. It means a lot to me and my family.

‘I’m fine – under the circumstances. I still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel okay.

‘Now, I will cheer on the boys on the Denmark team in the next matches. Play for all of Denmark. Best, Christian.’

The former Tottenham midfielder, who now plays for Inter Milan, was taken to hospital in a stable condition, where he remains

The former Tottenham midfielder, who now plays for Inter Milan, was taken to hospital in a stable condition, where he remains

Around 90 minutes later, Denmark were back out on the pitch playing the remainder of their game against Finland and they lost the Euro 2020 encounter 1-0

Around 90 minutes later, Denmark were back out on the pitch playing the remainder of their game against Finland and they lost the Euro 2020 encounter 1-0

Jannik Vestergaard (right) and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg pictured after the game was finally over

Jannik Vestergaard (right) and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg pictured after the game was finally over

On Monday Peter Schmeichel, the father of Denmark goalkeeper Kasper, said the players weren’t given an option by UEFA to delay completion of the game by anymore than half a day.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Schmeichel said: ‘I actually saw an official quote from UEFA saying that they were following the advice of the player, the players insisted on playing – I know that not to be the truth. 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 Sunday at 12 noon and finish the 50 minutes and the third option was to forfeit the game, 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.’

UEFA have ‘categorically’ denied that there was any threat of a forfeit. 

Denmark return to action on Thursday against Belgium, back at the Parken stadium where Saturday’s incident occurred. 

‘I don’t think they’re afraid to play,’ Hjulmand said. ‘But the normal reaction to a trauma like this, you should know, it’s not only yourself. 

‘It’s also your family, maybe your kids, your wife, your parents. So the box of emotions has been opened. I think we took a big step yesterday and I think we’ll take another one today.

‘Of course the time until the kick-off will be emotional, and we have to prepare ourselves for that, for entering the stadium again. Getting back to see our great fans. 

Denmark legend Peter Schmeichel says the squad weren't given much of a choice by UEFA

Denmark legend Peter Schmeichel says the squad weren’t given much of a choice by UEFA

Romelu Lukaku, Eriksen's club team-mate, played for Belgium hours after the incident and after scoring a goal, shouted 'Chris, Chris I love you' down a nearby television camera

Romelu Lukaku, Eriksen’s club team-mate, played for Belgium hours after the incident and after scoring a goal, shouted ‘Chris, Chris I love you’ down a nearby television camera 

‘And up to kick-off there’ll be a lot of emotions we have to handle, and then prepare ourselves for when the referee whistles his first whistle. We will be ready to go and fight and play well and do everything for Denmark.’

Belgium opened their tournament just hours after the Eriksen incident and defated Russia 3-0 thanks to two goals from Eriksen’s team-mate at Inter Milan, Romelu Lukaku.

After scoring his first goal, Lukaku ran up to a television camera and shouted ‘Chris, Chris I love you’ and after the match, opened up on how shocked he was by what had happened.

‘I cried a lot because I was scared, obviously,’ Lukaku said. ‘It was difficult to play because my mind was with my team-mate.’

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