Christian Eriksen had a cardiac arrest and “was gone” before being swiftly resuscitated on the pitch, Denmark’s team doctor, Morten Boesen, revealed on Sunday.
“He was gone,” Boesen said. “We started the resuscitation and we managed to do it. How close were we to losing him? I don’t know, but we got him back after one defib [defibrillation], so that’s quite fast.”
Denmark’s coach, Kasper Hjulmand, revealed the squad had spoken to Eriksen on Sunday and that it was great “to see him smile”, and Boesen praised the medical team at Parken, where Denmark played Finland.
“How quickly they reacted was decisive I would say,” he said. “The time from when it happens until he receives help is the most important factor. And that was a short period of time. That was decisive.
“They are now doing a series of tests at the hospital that can maybe give some of the answers he and I are looking for. But he is awake and is answering questions clearly. His heart is beating again … the tests that have been done so far look fine. We don’t have an explanation as to why it happened.”
Eriksen collapsed during the first half of the Euro 2020 game and after receiving CPR on the pitch was taken to hospital. The game resumed, Finland winning 1-0, the players have decided to continue after hearing that Eriksen was conscious and wanted them to carry on.
Hjulmand said in a 45-minute press conference on Sunday that the player could hardly remember anything from the incident but that he was in a good mood when he had a video call with the rest of the squad.
Hjulmand said, “Christian was concerned about us and he doesn’t remember a lot about yesterday so he asked how the team was doing.
“Christian is a big person. He felt that he can play because he is at his happiest on the pitch. He said this morning that we maybe had it worse than him because he wants to get out on the training pitch again. We have to see if we can gather ourselves and go out and play for Christian.”
The television coverage of the incident has drawn widespread criticism from around the world. It included footage of the player as well as his distressed partner, Sabrina Kvist Jensen, but the director responsible for the feed, Jean-Jacques Amsellem, told L’Equipe on Sunday that there was “no handbook for these incidents.”
Amsellem said, “There was a slow-motion of the scene where we can see him fall really clearly, but I immediately forced my teams not to focus on him, not to film him anymore. During all the live coverage that followed, I did, at one moment, show Danes in tears because it was still necessary to show the distress. We also saw the emotions of the Finns and the crowd but I don’t think we did anything mawkish or creepy.”
The BBC was criticised for continuing to broadcast the feed and said in a statement on Sunday, “Everyone at the BBC is hoping Christian Eriksen makes a full recovery. We apologise to anyone who was upset by the images broadcast. Stadium coverage is controlled by UEFA as the host broadcaster, and as soon as the match was suspended we took our coverage off-air as quickly as possible.”