Christian Eriksen has told his Denmark teammates to look forward to their Euro 2020 game against Belgium on Thursday, as UEFA defends itself against claims it forced the Danes to complete their game against Finland.
- UEFA said the Denmark-Finland match only resumed after requests from both teams
- Former Danish stars have criticised the decision to allow play to resume
- Christian Eriksen told his teammates to enjoy their next Euro 2020 game from hospital
Claims have circulated that Denmark players were put under pressure to resume their European Championship game after Eriksen collapsed on the field.
Eriksen fell face-forward onto the field in the 43rd minute of the game against Finland and needed critical care, including CPR.
“UEFA is sure it treated the matter with utmost respect for the sensitive situation and for the players,” the governing body said.
He called it a “a ridiculous decision” and said UEFA should have worked out “a different scenario and shown a little bit of compassion”.
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.
UEFA said “the players’ need for 48 hours’ rest between matches eliminated other options”.
Danish coach Kasper Hjulmand had initially said the teams wanted to get the match over with.
“The players couldn’t imagine not being able to sleep tonight and then having to get in tomorrow, get on the bus and play a game,” Hjulmand said after the match.
Three of Denmark’s players have spoken to the media for the first time since Eriksen’s collapse.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg said Eriksen delivered a message via video link from the hospital, saying that he was doing OK and that they should try to focus on playing the next game.
He said seeing Eriksen smile gave him “a form of energy” and that the team will play for the midfielder against world number one-ranked Belgium.
Belgium beat Russia 3-0 in its opening match of Group B off the back of two goals to in-form striker Romalu Lukaku.