June 15 – Under fire from players, fans, pundits and sections of the media for sanctioning the resumption of the Denmark-Finland Euro 2020 fixture so soon after Christian Eriksen’s shocking cardiac arrest, UEFA has sprung to its own defence by insisting the teams were not placed under any pressure.
The game resumed about 90 minutes after the incident and the Finns, who were second best until Eriksson collapsed and the game briefly suspended, went on to win 1-0.
Denmark striker Martin Braithwaite is the latest to criticise UEFA saying that the players were not prepared to go back on the field so quickly.
“We had two choices from UEFA, to go out and play the match immediately or play the next day at noon,” he said. “We took the lesser of two evils to finish the match. Many of the players were not in a condition to play this match. We were in a different space.
“It was not our wish. Those were the only options we had. We had two options and in that situation were told we had to make a decision. That is all I can say on that.
But UEFA denied accusations of insensitivity.
“UEFA is sure it treated the matter with utmost respect for the sensitive situation and for the players,” a statement said. “It was decided to restart the match only after the two teams requested to finish the game on the same evening. The players’ need for 48 hours’ rest between matches eliminated other options.”
Meanwhile Eriksen sent his first public message from hospital on Tuesday, thanking supporters for their “sweet and amazing” well-wishes.
“It means a lot to me and my family. I’m fine – under the circumstances,” said the Inter Milan midfielder. “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.”
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