Soccer fans both in the stadium and watching at home were stunned on Saturday as they watched Denmark and Inter Milan soccer star, Christian Eriksen, collapse during his country’s group-stage match against Finland in the first round of the ongoing Euro 2020 tournament.
A few minutes before the end of the first half of the game, a throw-in was played toward Eriksen, who collapsed soon after. Players immediately ran to his side, and called for medical staff who rushed onto the pitch to deliver first aid.
UEFA — the governing body of European soccer — announced that the game was suspended as medical care was given to Eriksen, with the crowd looking on in shock as Eriksen appeared to receive CPR.
Eriksen received an outpouring of support both on the pitch and on social media. Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed in 2012 while playing for Bolton Wanderers after suffering cardiac arrest, tweeted in reaction to Eriksen’s collapse, “Please God.”
— fabrice muamba (@fmuamba6) June 12, 2021
“The fans are in shock — everyone in the stadium definitely is. I don’t think many people have left. They are just sitting there, not knowing what to do. Everybody is in shock,” reported Pat Nevin for BBC Radio 5 Live. “He is such an incredibly loved player, and a fabulously talented player. We hope and pray for good news.”
Later, UEFA announced on their Twitter account that Eriksen was “now in hospital and in a stable condition.”
“UEFA wishes Christian Eriksen a full and speedy recovery and wishes to thank both teams for their exemplary attitude,” the tweet added.
The match had been suspended due to a medical emergency which involved Denmark's Christian Eriksen. The player in now in hospital and in a stable condition.
UEFA wishes Christian Eriksen a full and speedy recovery and wishes to thank both teams for their exemplary attitude.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 12, 2021
The Danish Football Association also reported that Eriksen was awake and awaiting more tests in hospital. John Murray reported for the BBC that the English Football Association released a messaging, saying “Our thoughts this evening are with Christian Eriksen and his family, and all connected with the Danish Football Union.”
Tottenham Hotspur, Eriken’s former club team, also reacted on Twitter.
“All of our thoughts are with Christian Eriksen and his family,” they tweeted.
All of our thoughts are with Christian Eriksen and his family. 🙏🏼 🤍
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) June 12, 2021
Later, the Danish Football Association announced that “Christian Eriksen is awake and his condition remains stable.”
“He remains hospitalized at Rigshospitalet for further examinations. The match against Finland will be played tonight. This happens after the players have been confirmed that Christian is okay. The match resumes at 20.30,” the Danish FA added.
Christian Eriksen er vågen, og hans tilstand er fortsat stabil. Han forbliver indlagt på Rigshospitalet til yderligere undersøgelser.
Kampen mod Finland spilles færdig i aften. Dette sker efter at spillerne har fået bekræftet, at Christian er okay. Kampen genoptages kl. 20.30.
— DBU – En Del Af Noget Større (@DBUfodbold) June 12, 2021
According to UEFA, the match was restarted “Following the request made by players of both teams.”
According to former Arsenal and England physiotherapist Gary Lewin, “The medical team will have gone into what we call the ’emergency action plan.’”
“Every team and stadium has an action plan. The medical team will have tried to stabilize him on the pitch. I have to commend the players, the way they protected him and stood around him, I thought was incredible. It showed amazing team spirit,” Lewin continued. “Once the team have stabilized him, they would have got him into the cardiac position as soon as they possibly could. I think that’s obviously where he is now. I believe the early reports are he is conscious, so let’s cross our fingers.”
“The picture of him leaving the ground with oxygen, that’s another sign that whatever happened, the action taken by the medical team was very, very quick and very, very efficient,” Lewin added. “All I can say is what an amazing job they all did.”