Update 14/06/2021: Christian Eriksen in stable condition after suffering cardiac arrest
UEFA European Football Championship 2020 kicked off last Friday, and what a journey it’s been so far, just three days into the championship. Football fans were distraught last Saturday as 29-year-old Christian Eriksen collapsed during Denmark’s fixture against Finland.
Denmark’s team doctor, Morten Boesen, confirmed that Eriksen is now in a stable condition after suffering a cardiac arrest. During a press conference on Sunday, Boesen stated that the midfielder stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated on the pitch. Still in hospital and undergoing observation, Boesen confirmed that there is currently no explanation of why this happened.
The decision to resume the fixture after the incident has been met with criticism, which saw Demark lose 1-0 against Finland. Demark manager Kasper Hjulmand admitted that it was a difficult decision for his team to consider, given that they were still in shock and concerned for their friend and teammate. However, reports confirm that Demark team members have received counselling to deal with the trauma of the event.
Demark is now preparing for their upcoming game against Belgium on Thursday also at Parken Stadium, Copenhagen. Whilst this will undoubtedly be a difficult match, the team’s spirits have been raised after speaking with Eriksen via video link yesterday. Eriksen commented that the team were probably feeling worse than he was and how he felt as though he was about to go back into training.
Denmark’s match against Finland marked Eriksen’s, who also plays for Inter Milan, 66th game in one year since the resumption of football after COVID-19. Players’ union FIFPro had already raised concerns that this level of play could take a significant physical toll.
Notable football players Tweeted messages of support for Christian Eriksen, including Tottenham Hotspur vice-captain and former teammate, Harry Kane. Eriksen was with Spurs for seven years, scoring 69 goals in 305 appearances.
England 1-0 Croatia
Football fans across the UK celebrated joyously yesterday as Raheem Sterling scored the winning goal against Croatia, securing a 1-0 result at Wembley Stadium. The highly anticipated game saw 10 million football fans across the UK tune in and a record 3.9 million online streams. England also set a record for winning a championship opener, securing three points.
Wembley stadium allowed 22,500 fans to watch the game socially distanced ahead of the proposed full lifting of coronavirus restrictions on 21st June. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will announce on Monday if there is a delay on the reopening.
When do England next play?
England’s next game will be this Friday as they take on Scotland. Whilst marking a fantastic start for Group D, England manager Gareth Southgate stated that the upcoming match against Scotland would be incredible but also a challenge. “It’s a positive step in terms of qualification, but one of the hardest things in sport is to come back to that point you were at before the kick-off for the next game,” said the England manager.
Scotland manager, Steve Clarke, commented that his men would give their all throughout the tournament. The team will aim to reach the knockout stages, which would be a first.
Football fans also eagerly await the outcome of today’s fixture as Scotland takes on the Czech Republic. Clarke noted the importance for the team to keep calm during the game and to enjoy the experience.
Euros 2020 opening weekend conclusion
Having been delayed from summer 2020, the Euros so far has been about more than just football. Witnessing Demark immediately crowd around their teammate and the fans’ reactions highlighted the emotional connection between footballers and fans and the strong communities involved.
It was an iconic moment for Italy last Friday during the championship opener, who was finally able to host a match with spectators at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, with fans banned from stadiums since March 2020 due to coronavirus.
Sunday saw the Netherlands claim a narrow victory against Ukraine, with the win certainly not going down as one of their best. The close call has led many to question the abilities of Netherlands manager Frank de Boer.
But as the new week begins, we look forward to a fresh set of games and wonder what surprises could be in store this time around.