Denmark player collapses on field at Euro 2020

TOPSHOT - Medics stretcher Denmark's midfielder Christian Eriksen off the pitch after he collapsed during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group B football match between Denmark and Finland at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on June 12, 2021. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Medics stretcher Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen off the pitch after he collapsed during a Euro 2020 group stage match against Finland on Saturday. (Photo by Jonathan Nackstrand / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed during a Euro 2020 match on Saturday and received CPR on the field. He was transported on a stretcher to a nearby hospital, where officials said he was stable and awake.

Eriksen’s agent, Martin Schoots, said on a Dutch radio station that he’d been told by Eriksen’s father from the hospital that Eriksen was “out of danger,” and able to breathe and speak.

Eriksen fell during the 42nd minute of a match against Finland. The match was immediately suspended. It restarted less than two hours later. Finland scored in the second half and won in an upset, 1-0.

UEFA, the European soccer governing body, said the decision to restart the game had been made by players. The director of Denmark’s soccer federation told a Danish broadcaster that Eriksen spoke to his teammates from his hospital bed before they requested to complete the match. 

The scary scene unfolded late in the first half. After receiving a throw in, it first appeared that Eriksen had merely stumbled to the ground. Broadcast footage had shown him on camera just moments earlier fully conscious, but running slowly and appearing to be out of breath.

After he fell, his Danish teammates noticed he was in distress and quickly signaled for a medical crew to come out. His teammates, some in tears, formed a circle around him on the field as medical personnel administered CPR.

Denmark's players react as paramedics attend to Denmark's midfielder Christian Eriksen after he collapsed on the pitch during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group B football match between Denmark and Finland at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on June 12, 2021. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel / POOL / AFP) (Photo by FRIEDEMANN VOGEL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Denmark players form a circle around Christian Eriksen as paramedics attend to him on the field. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

The referees, along with the Finland players, walked off the field while the Denmark players stayed until Erikson was carried off.

Erikson’s partner, Sabrina Kvist Jensen, was at the match and came down onto the pitch during the emergency. Denmark defender Simon Kjaer and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel hugged and consoled her.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - JUNE 12: Sabrina Kvist Jensen, Girlfriend of Christian Eriksen (Not pictured) of Denmark looks dejected as she is consoled by Simon Kjaer of Denmark whilst Christian Eriksen receives medical treatment during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group B match between Denmark and Finland on June 12, 2021 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Sabrina Kvist Jensen, Christian Eriksen’s girlfriend, is consoled by Denmark defender and captain Simon Kjaer as Eriksen receives medical treatment. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Photos later showed Eriksen awake, conscious, and holding an oxygen mask to his face while on a gurney leaving the stadium.

Denmark's players escort Denmark's midfielder Christian Eriksen (C) as he is evacuated after collapsing on the pitch during the UEFA EURO 2020 Group B football match between Denmark and Finland at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on June 12, 2021. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel / various sources / AFP) (Photo by FRIEDEMANN VOGEL/AFP via Getty Images)
Denmark’s players escort midfielder Christian Eriksen off the field after Eriksen collapsed on the pitch. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel / AFP via Getty Images)

After the pitch emptied, a video board in the stadium relayed updates on Eriksen’s condition, and on the match’s status, to fans.

During the delay, fans of both teams chanted Eriksen’s name.

When players from both teams returned to the field over an hour later to warm up, some Danish players appeared to still be in distress. Kjaer, the captain, was particularly emotional, and was subbed off 20 minutes after the 8:30 p.m. restart.

Finland scored in the 59th minute, its first goal ever at a major international tournament, to take a 1-0 lead. Joel Pohjanpalo, the goalscorer, urged restraint during his celebration.

The third Euro 2020 game of the day kicked off at 3 p.m. ET as scheduled. Romelu Lukaku, Eriksen’s club teammate at Inter Milan, scored the opening goal, ran to a TV camera, and said, “Chris, Chris! … I love you.”

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