Christian Eriksen: Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand in tears as Schmeichel blasts UEFA

June 14th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Kasper Hjulmand was in tears when speaking about Christian Eriksen who collapsed during Denmark’s Euro 2020 clash with Finland on Saturday and needed immediate CPR before being rushed to hospital.

Shortly before half-time at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Eriksen suddenly fell to the ground as he ran back from the Finland penalty area, leaving players from both teams in clear distress.

Hjulmand was deeply upset when quizzed on the distressing situation and struggled to fight back the tears.

“It was a really tough evening, on which we’ve all been reminded what the most important things in life are,” he said.

“It’s meaningful relationships. It’s those people who are close to us. It’s family and friends.

“Everything, everything, everything – all thoughts are with Christian and his family.

“A group of players that I cannot praise enough.

“First of all, if it gets emotional, it’s been a tough night. We are all reminded of what the most important thing in life is – to have valuable relationships, people we’re close to, our family and our friends.

“We have a group of players that I cannot praise enough. I couldn’t be prouder of those people who took such good care of each other.

“He is one of my very dear friends, the way the players talked in the dressing room to decide to not do anything before we knew Christian was conscious and OK.

“We had two options to play the game [today] or tomorrow at 12pm and everyone agreed to play today. You can’t play a game with such feelings. We tried to win.

“It was incredible they managed to go out and try to play the second half.

“Honestly, there were players out there that were completely done. Emotionally done and emotionally exhausted.”

Finland boss Markku Kanerva said: “We are going to remember this for a long time for different reasons.

“It was a very emotional night for us.”

Meanwhile, former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has hit out at UEFA’s ‘ridiculous’ decision to restart Denmark’s game against Finland following Christian Eriksen’s collapse as the Danish great said UEFA showed ‘no compassion’ for his son Kasper and his team-mates.

The game continued at 7.30pm UK time after the Danish players agreed to continue having spoken to Eriksen over the phone, and the Finns ran out 1-0 winners.

And Schmeichel, 57, understandably choked up on BBC Radio 5 Live on Sunday morning as he slammed UEFA for leaving the Dane’s in a ‘very hard’ position after suggesting they return to the stadium to resume the game at 12 noon today.

“I want to put on record that it is absolutely ridiculous that UEFA come up with a solution like that,” he said.

“Something terrible happens and UEFA gives the players an option to go out and play the game the last 55 minutes or whatever it was or come back at 12 o clock today, I mean what kind of option is that?

“So you go back to your hotel in the case for the Danes is 45 minutes away, you cannot sleep, you might not even sleep because watching trauma like that has a massive effect on you of course and then get back on the team bus at 8 to play the rest of the game.

“It was not an option, it was a ridiculous decision by UEFA and they should have tried to work out a different scenario and show a bit of compassion and they didn’t.”

Schmeichel’s son, Kasper, was on the pitch as the distressing scenes unfolded on Saturday, and Schmeichel Sr said that it was not fair for UEFA to prioritise ‘TV scheduling’ over the welfare of his son and his team-mates.

“I don’t know [about other solutions], but why 12 o clock? Why take TV scheduling and all of that into consideration. Why 12 o clock?

“That was ridiculous and to be fair, the result of the game is completely irrelevant and I have to be very honest… we obviously made a decision if the players come out and play they will only play if Christian is alright and by alright it means he is alive and speaking to the players, they knew he was okay.

“That was very very hard and I could not understand the decision, I couldn’t and the game was irrelevant, totally. How can you play?”

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