Sports Monks

Christian Eriksen collapse: Peter Schmeichel criticises decision to restart Denmark v Finland game

Former Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel says it was “absolutely ridiculous” that Saturday’s Euro 2020 match between Denmark and Finland carried on after Christian Eriksen’s collapse.

Eriksen, 29, is stable and awake in hospital after receiving emergency treatment on the pitch in Copenhagen.

“It’s a ridiculous decision by Uefa,” said Schmeichel. “They should have tried to work out a different scenario and shown a little bit of compassion, and they didn’t.”

The game was suspended before half-time after the 29-year-old former Spurs playmaker fell to the ground.

He was treated by medical teams on the pitch before being taken to hospital.

The Group B match restarted at 19:30 BST and Finland won 1-0.

Tournament organiser Uefa said it agreed to restart the match “following the request made by players of both teams”.

Players had been given two options – to finish the game on Saturday night, or at noon on Sunday. After hearing Eriksen was conscious and talking, they decided to get it finished on Saturday.

Although Denmark’s next game against Belgium is not until Thursday, Finland face Russia on Wednesday.

But Schmeichel, whose son Kasper is the current Danish goalkeeper, told BBC Radio 5 Live he feels the players were put in a difficult position.

“That would be the worst two hours in my time in football,” he said.

“Something terrible like that happens and Uefa gives the players an option to go out and play the game or come back at 12:00 on Sunday. What kind of option is that?

“The result of the game is completely irrelevant. I mean, how can you play?”

BBC pundit and former player Jermaine Jenas, who was playing for Spurs when Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba collapsed during an FA Cup game between the two teams in 2012, said the decision to restart Saturday game did not make any sense.

“We had a scenario where someone almost lost their life and as a former pro, I was just shocked,” he said.

“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.

“It needed a day or two to let things settle down and to let people regather their thoughts.”

Denmark head coach Kasper Hjulmand said after the game: “It was a traumatic experience. We talked about those feelings and it would’ve been OK to say ‘no’ if they didn’t want to play.

“Some of them were not able to play, some were ready. It’s not normal to play such a game when one of your friends is suffering with a heart issue.”

Finland and Norwich striker Teemu Pukki said Saturday’s match had been one of the most difficult games of his career.

“We decided to do what the Danish team would decide and were ready to continue whatever decision was taken,” he said.

“It was definitely not easy to come back to the pitch. But once we heard everything seemed to be fine, we started concentrating again on the game.”

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