Peter Schmeichel insists UEFA threatened Denmark with a 3-0 forfeit defeat against Finland if traumatised players didn’t return to finish Euro 2020 clash after Christian Eriksen’s on-pitch cardiac arrest
When asked if it was the players’ decision for the game to be restarted after Eriksen had been taken to hospital, Schmeichel said: ‘Well that’s an interesting debate.
Denmark legend Peter Schmeichel says the squad weren’t given much of a choice by UEFA
The devastated players came back onto the field to finish their Euro 2020 game against Finland after their team-mate Christian Eriksen had suffered a cardiac arrest in the first half
Was it wrong to restart the game after such a traumatic event?
Former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel’s son Kasper was on the pitch and consoled Christian Eriksen’s partner. Peter says the game shouldn’t have gone ahead and the players had very little choice. pic.twitter.com/nUDiSDruR3
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) June 14, 2021
‘I actually saw an official quote from UEFA yesterday saying that they were following the advice of the player, the players insisted on playing – I know that not to be the truth.
‘Or, it’s how you see the truth. They were left with three options, one was to play immediately and get the last 50 minutes played.
‘The next one was to come in yesterday at 12 noon and finish the 50 minutes and the third option was to forfeit the game, 3-0.
‘So work it out for yourself. Is it the players’ wish to play? Did they have any choice really? I don’t think they had.
‘As you can hear from yesterday’s press conference, the coach, he seriously regrets putting the players back on to the pitch.’
Inter Milan and former Tottenham midfielder Eriksen collapsed on Saturday during the first half of Denmark’s opening match and was treated on the pitch before being taken to hospital.
Peter’s son Kasper (right) went to console Eriksen’s distraught girlfriend at the side of the pitch
Peter Schmeichel insists the players, including his son Kasper (above), didn’t have a choice
Denmark’s team doctor Morten Boesen later confirmed Eriksen was stable having suffered a cardiac arrest and that ‘he was gone’ prior to being resuscitated.
Eriksen’s team-mates formed a shield round him while he was being treated on the pitch and Peter Schmeichel is concerned about the effects the incident has had on Denmark’s players.
He added: ‘It’s very difficult to say exactly what the longer-term impact will be (for the players) from that experience, which I know having spoken to Kasper was very traumatic for everyone.
‘It’s a very dramatic scene when someone has to be defibrillated and shocked back to life.’
Professor Sanjay Sharma, a cardiologist at St George’s University Hospital in London and medical director for the London Marathon, said it was unlikely Eriksen would be able to continue with his playing career.
Although they were traumatised, the Danish players had to return to the pitch to continue
Eriksen was given CPR on the pitch and was responsive when he was taken away on a stretcher
‘If we assume he’s had a virus, then that will certainly have caused inflammation and left a scar in the heart,’ professor Sharma told GMB.
‘If something like that was capable of causing a sudden cardiac death a couple of days ago, then there’s a chance that any remaining scar could possibly do that in the future.
‘So one thing they will do is implant something called a cardioverter-defibrillator that watches his heart day and night and that will be able to deliver a shock in the future.
‘But whether he competes again is dependable on lots of factors, his own psyche, his discussions with his wife and children and also the legislation in various countries.
‘For example, in Italy where he competes he certainly would not be able to play football again.’