‘Covid lets you to postpone a match, a cardiac arrest does not’: Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand claims UEFA protocol forced his players to complete their game against Finland after Christian Eriksen’s collapse
- Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand has accused UEFA of lacking compassion
- He says players were ‘pressured’ to play after Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest
- Eriksen collapsed during Denmark’s opening game against Finland on Saturday
- Denmark were later given the choice to resume or play the following day
- Hjulmand’s players later returned to the pitch but went on to lose the game 1-0
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.
Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand has accused UEFA of lacking compassion after his players were ‘pressured’ to play following Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest.
Eriksen collapsed during Denmark’s opener against Finland on Saturday. The midfielder had to be resuscitated before being taken to hospital.
The game was suspended for around 90 minutes before Denmark were given the choice to resume or play the following day. Hjulmand’s players returned to the pitch but lost 1-0.
Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand (above) has accused UEFA of lacking compassion after his players were ‘pressured’ to play following Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest
Eriksen collapsed during Denmark’s opener against Finland on Saturday. The midfielder had to be resuscitated before being taken to hospital
‘The only real leadership would have been to put the players on a bus and send them home and then deal with it after,’ said Hjulmand on Tuesday.
‘With corona cases it’s possible to postpone a game for 48 hours. But with cardiac arrest, apparently it’s not. I think that’s wrong.
‘You don’t necessarily find good leadership in the protocols. Good leadership can sometimes be to lead with compassion.’
The game was suspended for around 90 minutes before Denmark were given the choice to resume or play the following day. Hjulmand’s players returned to the pitch but lost 1-0
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 posted a photo from his hospital bed on Tuesday, thanking supporters for their messages of support and writing on Instagram: ‘I’m fine, under the circumstances. I still have to go through some examinations but I feel OK.’
UEFA defended their handling of the incident but speaking ahead of Denmark’s return to Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium for Thursday’s clash with Belgium, Hjulmand said: ‘I don’t feel right that we were there after the incident. I think it showed so much strength from the guys.’
WHAT IS A CARDIAC ARREST? HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM A HEART ATTACK?
A heart attack and a cardiac arrest are not the same thing
A cardiac arrest is when a person’s heart stops pumping blood around their body and they stop breathing normally
A heart attack is when one of the coronary arteries becomes blocked. The heart muscle is robbed of its vital blood supply and, if left untreated, will begin to die because it is not getting enough oxygen
Many cardiac arrests in adults happen because of a heart attack. This is because a person who is having a heart attack may develop a dangerous heart rhythm, which can cause a cardiac arrest
Source: British Heart Foundation
Though the manager does not believe his players are fearful of playing again, he added: ‘It’s completely wrong to give the perception that it was we who came and said we wanted to continue playing as our first option. It was a choice between the two scenarios. And then you can argue whether we were put under pressure.
‘I felt that the players — and us close to them — were put under that pressure and were given that dilemma.’
England captain Harry Kane texted Eriksen following the incident and his wife Katie Goodland has spoken to the 29-year-old’s partner Sabrina Kvist Jensen.
‘It was dreadful to watch,’ said Kane, a former team-mate of Eriksen at Tottenham. ‘Sometimes we take things for granted and we take football and life for granted. That was a reminder that things can be taken away so quickly.’
Dominic Calvert-Lewin added: ‘We were on the coach down to London and one of the lads had the game on their iPad and it was just complete shock — it makes you realise how precious life is and how important it is to enjoy every moment that you live.’
Tyrone Mings said: ‘Firstly, it’s a huge relief that he is OK. The scenes were hugely distressing. Thankfully he is OK, it seems. We probably couldn’t be in a safer place when we are on the pitch in terms of how much treatment is readily accessible. You saw how quickly he was treated. Had that been somewhere else, maybe people wouldn’t be so fortunate.
‘Off the pitch there are a lot of tests and technology and scans that we go through to try and make sure the medics know as much about our body as possible.
‘What happened the other day probably put in to perspective for players what is and isn’t important. I am sure everybody went through a bit of reflection. The fixture (scheduling) thing that people are talking about is a whole new subject.’