Danish midfielder, Christian Eriksen, collapsed face-first on the pitch during the opening game of the Euro 2020 tournament against Finland. A swift response from the Danish captain, Simon Kjaer, to make sure Eriksen’s airways were clear, checking if he hadn’t swallowed his own tongue. Quick thinking from the match referee, Anthony Taylor, immediately stopped the match. Teammates frantically calling for medical assistance and most importantly, the paramedics and medical staff who rushed to the pitch instantly and upon not finding a pulse began performing CPR and defibrillating the player, an ordeal which went on for nearly 20 minutes. In the end, they were successful in resuscitating and eventually stabilizing him.
This ultimately shows how these precious moments proved to be vital; a matter of life and death. Later on Sunday, Denmark’s team doctor revealed that Eriksen had a cardiac arrest. The Danish Football Association has now confirmed that Eriksen is awake and stable, receiving further examination and treatment at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.
Although this entire mishap has been revelatory of UEFA’s self-serving gluttonous greed. The live coverage of Eriksen’s 20-minute long resuscitation and shocking camera work, even after Denmark players formed a human shield around Eriksen to protect his privacy, shots through the legs of the players and camera pans on his distressed wife, were clear attempts at constructing a narrative to sensationalize and dramatize the entire event. In a statement by the BBC spokesperson, as noted in The Independent, read, “In-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”. UEFA instead of cutting the live TV feed, cameras inside the stadium kept rolling, this has unanimously left all football fans outraged.
Apart from this (while not directly related to Eriksen’s condition), since the COVID-19 pandemic affected football quite severely, this combined with UEFA’s relentless fixtures (upon reopening) and the intensity of the modern game has made workload on players unsustainable and unsafe. Since the Lockdown restrictions were eased about a year ago, Eriksen has played in 66 competitive games, as FIFPRO (The Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels) suggests puts an immense psychological and physical pressure on the players. Despite these concerns raised by FIFPRO, UEFA from the 2024/25 Season I set to increase the guaranteed number of games from 6 to 10; filling their own coffers at the detriment of all morality.
Fortunately, though some semblance of humanity did prevail, during the Euro game, Finland supporters threw their flags at the medical team to help block the view from the (still rolling) cameras. Both sides were chanting Eriksen’s name which was reflective of the beautiful game that football is. We here at Springtide wish Eriksen a speedy recovery and (eagerly) await his return to football.