Denmark coach in tears as he admits his team “couldn’t play” after UEFA ruling

Denmark head coach Kasper Hjulmand has admitted his players were “emotionally done” following the incident which saw Christian Eriksen rushed to hospital.

The Inter Milan midfielder collapsed towards the end of the first half of their Euro 2020 opener vs Finland in Copenhagen.

Eriksen was given urgent medical attention and received CPR before being stretchered off the pitch and rushed to a nearby hospital.

His condition has since been stabilised with further testing underway to determine what caused the distressing incident.

Following the positive update regarding Eriksen’s status, UEFA confirmed that the game would resume, some 90 minutes after it was initially suspended.

Kasper Hjulmund admitted his players were emotionally drained following Christian Eriksen’s hospitalisation

That statement read: “Following the request made by players of both teams, UEFA has agreed to restart the match between Denmark and Finland tonight at 20:30 CET (TBC).

“The last four minutes of the first half will be played, there will then be a 5-minute half-time break followed by the second half.”

Denmark struggled following the restart and Finland earned a 1-0 victory through Joel Pohjanpalo’s second half header.

But on a night where the scoreline was a distant second behind Eriksen’s immediate health, Hjulmand spoke emotionally about how the incident put things into perspective.

“It was a really tough evening, on which we’ve all been reminded what the most important things in life are,” the 49-year-old said, fighting back tears.

“It’s meaningful relationships. It’s those people who are close to us. It’s family and friends.

Hjulmand was understandably emotional in his post-match press conference
Hjulmand was understandably emotional in his post-match press conference

“Everything, everything, everything – all thoughts are with Christian and his family.”

However, in contrast to UEFA’s statement, Hjulmand suggested his players were only presented with two options – either resume the game on Saturday, or complete it on Sunday afternoon.

He continued: “We had two options to play the game [today] or tomorrow at 12pm and everyone agreed to play today.

“There was no pressure from Uefa to play tonight…honestly it was best to get it over with.

“You can’t play a game with such feelings. We tried to win. It was incredible they managed to go out and try to play the second half.

“We have a group of players that I cannot praise enough. I couldn’t be prouder of those people who took such good care of each other.

“He is one of my very dear friends, the way the players talked in the dressing room to decide to not do anything before we knew Christian was conscious and OK.

“Honestly, there were players out there that were completely done. Emotionally done and emotionally exhausted.

“They are holding each other. It was a traumatic experience.”

Denmark provided a screen for their stricken teammate as Eriksen received emergency, life-saving treatment
Denmark provided a screen for their stricken teammate as Eriksen received emergency, life-saving treatment

Should Denmark have been given more time to complete the fixture? Let us know in the comments

Markku Kanerva, who guided Finland to their first ever major tournament win, added that despite the historic nature of the result, it was a night which would be remembered for altogether different reasons.

“First time in a major tournament and an opening game against Denmark in their home stadium. When we heard the national anthems, it was very emotional for us,” he said.

“And then what happened with Christian Eriksen – a very dramatic and sad incident. And then finally, we get a good result from the game.

“Of course I am happy for that. Unbelievable. We are going to remember this for a long time for different reasons.”

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