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‘A ridiculous decision’: Danish legend Schmeichel slams decision to restart Denmark-Finland game after Eriksen collapse

‘A ridiculous decision’: Danish legend Schmeichel slams decision to restart Denmark-Finland game after Eriksen collapse
Iconic goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has hit out at the "ridiculous decision" to restart the UEFA Euro 2020 fixture between Denmark and Finland after the serious medical emergency suffered by Danish star Christian Eriksen.

Inter Milan's Eriksen brought the football world to a standstill on Saturday when he collapsed on the pitch shortly before half-time in his side's Group B fixture with Finland in Copenhagen. 

Eriksen fell to the turf unchallenged in frightening scenes which were captured on the television broadcast, prompting a significant outpouring of grief from concerned players and fans alike when it appeared as though he was being administered CPR.

The 29-year-old Eriksen was rushed to a nearby hospital where it was soon announced that his condition was stable and that he was conscious and communicating with medical staff, with the player also reported to have spoken to his teammates via video call from his hospital bed.

After consultation with both sets of players, the decision was made to restart the game on Saturday a little two hours after Eriksen's collapse - but after dominating much of the first half before the incident, the Danes appeared understandably anaemic in the second and wound up on the wrong side of a 1-0 defeat to their unfancied Nordic neighbors. 

And Peter Schmeichel, father of current Denmark goalkeeper Kasper, says that the options offered to the Danish side by UEFA were entirely insufficient.

"It's a ridiculous decision by UEFA," Schmeichel said to the BBC. "They should have tried to work out a different scenario and shown a little bit of compassion, and they didn't."

Also on rt.com Eriksen didn’t have Covid and wasn’t vaccinated, says Inter Milan director, as Denmark star recovers from terrifying collapse

UEFA reportedly offered two options: complete the fixture on Saturday evening or at 12pm on Sunday, with both sides agreeing to the former option - but Schmeichel argued that neither of these were acceptable after what they players had experienced on the pitch just hours before.

"That would be the worst two hours in my time in football," Schmeichel added.

"Something terrible like that happens and UEFA gives the players an option to go out and play the game or come back at 12:00 on Sunday. What kind of option is that?

"The result of the game is completely irrelevant. I mean, how can you play?"

Schmeichel's stance was echoed by fellow BBC analyst Jermaine Jenas, who was playing for Tottenham Hotspur in 2012 in a game in which a similar incident happened to Bolton player Fabrice Muamba.

"We had a scenario where someone almost lost their life and as a former pro, I was just shocked," said Jenas.

"There is no way that game should have been played last night. Not one player on that pitch was in the right mindset to be playing a game of football.

"It needed a day or two to let things settle down and to let people regather their thoughts."

While most will agree that footballing matters are secondary to concerns about Eriksen's health, the defeat to Finland leaves the Danes in an unenviable position to qualify from Group B after favorites Belgium routed Russia 3-0 in their opening fixture. 

Also on rt.com ‘Sorry, that is not OK’: Fans enraged as TV broadcasters refuse to cut away from Christian Eriksen as he received CPR on pitch

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