Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed to the field late in the first half of his team’s game against Finland at Euro 2020 on Saturday, a frightening moment broadcast to a global television audience. Eriksen received immediate treatment on the grass where he had fallen, and was awake when he left the stadium on a stretcher about 20 minutes later.
UEFA suspended the match, which had been nearing its halftime break, for more than an hour. But it later said the game would resume at the request of both teams, and the players — relieved that their teammate and friend appeared to be OK, and some of them in tears — soon returned to the field.
Just over 90 minutes after Eriksen fell to the ground, play resumed.
Eriksen was near the sideline, waiting to receive a throw-in, in the 42nd minute when he stumbled and then fell forward. His Denmark teammates immediately sensed serious trouble, rushing to him and waving frantically for trainers to come to his aid.
The players, some of them crying and others praying, formed a circle to shield Eriksen from view as the medical teams performed urgent care on him as he lay on the grass. At one point, television images showed a trainer performing chest compressions.
UEFA, the tournament organizer, immediately suspended the match and later tweeted that Eriksen had been taken to the hospital and “stabilized.”
Denmark’s soccer association announced that Eriksen was “awake and undergoing further examinations.” ESPN reported that Eriksen spoke to his teammates before the decision was made to resume the match.
The incident happened in the 43rd minute of a scoreless game. Play was suspended, and both teams left the field.
Just over an hour after the incident, UEFA announced the match would resume “following the request made by players of both teams.” The teams were to return to the field to play the final four minutes of the first half, then take a five-minute break before playing the match to its completion.
Inside the stadium, fans waiting for updates appeared to unite in concern for Eriksen during the break, at one point volleying chants back and forth. When the Finnish fans chanted “Christian,” their Danish counterparts answered with “Eriksen.”
Trainers and medical teams worked on Eriksen on the field for nearly 20 minutes before transferring him onto a stretcher and carrying him off the field. As he left, Eriksen appeared to be awake on the stretcher, resting his hand on his forehead.
Eriksen’s collapse and subsequent treatment left the crowd in Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium nearly silent, and Denmark’s players struggling to hide their emotions. Denmark’s captain, Simon Kjaer, stayed by his teammate’s side until help arrived. He and goalkeeper Kaspar Schmeichel then moved to midfield to comfort Eriksen’s partner, Sabrina Kvist Jensen, who had rushed to the side of the field.
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