Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

COPENHAGEN (AP) — Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen was taken to a hospital Saturday after collapsing on the field during a match at the European Championship, leading to the game being suspended for more than 90 minutes.

The governing body of European soccer said Eriksen has been stabilized and the Danish soccer federation said he was awake.

“Christian Eriksen is awake and is undergoing further examinations at Rigshospitalet,” the Danish federation wrote on Twitter.

Danish soccer federation director Peter Moeller said Eriksen got a “heart massage” while being treated on the field.

“He fell over and got help and heart massage on the field,” Moeller told Danish public broadcaster DR. “He was fortunately awake when he left stadium.”

The Euro 2020 match between Denmark and Finland had been halted in the 43rd minute with the score 0-0. It resumed at 8:30 p.m. local time and Finland eventually won 1-0.

UEFA said both teams had held an emergency meeting before deciding to continue playing. The players came back out onto the field to a huge ovation as they started warming up for a second time.

Mathias Jensen replaced Eriksen in the Denmark lineup. Only a few minutes were played before a shorter-than-normal halftime break.

Eriksen was given urgent medical attention on the field for about 10 minute after collapsing near the end of the first half. He was then carried off on a stretcher. UEFA then announced the game had been suspended “due to a medical emergency.”

Eriksen had just played a short pass when he fell face-forward onto the ground. His teammates immediately gestured for help and medics rushed onto the field. Eriksen was given chest compressions as his Denmark teammates stood around him in a shielding wall for privacy.

Eriksen’s partner, Sabrina Kvist Jensen, went onto the field and was comforted by Denmark captain Simon Kjaer and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

The Finland players huddled by their bench and eventually walked off the field while the Inter Milan midfielder was still getting treatment, as did the referees.

Eriksen was eventually carried off to a loud ovation, with his teammates walking next to the stretcher.

Inter Milan team physician Piero Volpi told The Associated Press that the Italian club was in contact with the Danish soccer federation.

“We’re in contact with the Danish federation, the team manager, the team physician. But we still don’t know anything yet,” Volpi said. “We heard what UEFA said and we’re all happy that he’s been stabilized. But that’s all we know.”

Volpi added that Eriksen never contracted COVID-19, has no medical conditions that he’s aware of and has passed every medical exam without problem since joining Inter in January 2020 from Tottenham.

“But we’ll talk about that when the time is right,” Volpi added of Eriksen’s medical history. “Right now, the important thing is that he recovers.”

Eriksen is one of Denmark’s biggest stars and the incident brought an instant sense of shock to the Parken Stadium, where about 15,000 fans fell into hushed silence. Some supporters could be seen crying and hugging in the stands.

As the fans in the stadium were waiting for updates, Finland supporters started chanting “Christian,” which was then answered by the Danish fans shouting “Eriksen.”

A huge roar then went up from all supporters when the stadium announcer said Eriksen was “stable and awake.”

The incident brought back memories of other soccer players who have collapsed on the field, including Fabrice Muamba, who needed CPR in 2012 when he collapsed in a match between Bolton and Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Muamba, who fully recovered, tweeted ”Please God” as Eriksen was taken to the hospital.

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