Sunday. 19.05.2024
Denmark's Christian Eriksen was in good spirits when visited by team-mate Kasper Schmeichel, but the joy at seeing him has not changed the goalkeeper's view that the squad were unduly pressured into resuming Saturday's Euro game.

Eriksen, 29, is making a good recovery in hospital after a cardiac arrest.

The midfielder collapsed during Denmark's tournament opener against Finland in Copenhagen. He was resuscitated on the pitch and then carried off, with the team ultimately deciding to restart the game a couple of hours later.

They lost 1-0.

Denmark's coach Kasper Hjulmand at first supported the decision to resume the game but his players clearly suffered and now he believes they should have taken another option given by UEFA - such as returning to play at midday the next day.

Goalkeeper Schmeichel thinks the situation was badly handled.

"We players were put in a position that I don't think is fair," he told reporters on Monday.

"They should have waited to make a decision. I hope UEFA learns something from this. It probably would have been necessary for someone in a higher position than us to say: 'It's not the time to make a decision now'."

UEFA defended decision

Later Monday UEFA defended its actions, saying it had acted in "utmost respect for the sensitive situation" but “the players’ need for 48 hours’ rest between matches eliminated other options.”

Schmeichel said it was wonderful to see his friend "smile and laugh" in hospital.

"Visiting him was a wonderful experience and something that has helped me see that he was OK after lying there," he added.

"We talked about nothing and everything."

Denmark meet favourites Belgium in their second Group B game on Thursday. That game will go ahead as planned and players feel they will be ready.

"We will play for Christian and for everyone who has supported us," midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg told reporters.


Striker Martin Braithwaite added: "We have felt the support from everywhere. And we appreciate that very much. I know that Denmark stands for standing together in adversity. And I have no doubt that people will see something special at Parken Stadium on Thursday.

"I'm looking forward to that and will definitely use it as motivation to play football for Christian."

The Inter Milan player's agent Martin Schoots told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper that Eriksen was waiting to find out exactly what had happened but was keen to back his team in the Euros.

"Without a doubt he wants to support his team against Belgium as a fan," said Schoots, without specifying whether that would be inside the Parken Stadium in the Danish capital.

Danish goalkeeper Schmeichel now says game resumption was wrong