Kasper Hjulmand has admitted that Denmark were “wrong” to restart their Euro 2020 match against Finland on the same day after Christian Eriksen’s collapse.
Eriksen dropped to the turf and stopped breathing in the first half of the Group B encounter, which originally kicked off at 17:00 on Saturday in Copenhagen.
The 29-year-old eventually regained consciousness after receiving on-field CPR before being sent to hospital, with both sets of players subsequently giving the green light to resume the match at 19:30 rather than wait until 12:00 on Sunday.
What’s been said?
Denmark went on to lose 1-0 courtesy of Joel Pohjanpalo’s 59th-minute header for Finland, who were making their first appearance at the European Championship.
Hjulmand put the defeat down to his side being “emotionally exhausted” and has now expressed regret over their collective decision to play on less than two hours after seeing Eriksen fight for his life on the pitch.
“I think it was the wrong decision to make between the two scenarios,” the Denmark boss told a press conference. “It was very tough for the players. They didn’t even know if they could probably lose their best friend.
“I have the feeling that we shouldn’t have played and wrong that the players had to decide. I’m really proud of the way the world reacted to this incident.
“It’s often about money, but yesterday we saw what football is all about: compassion and love.”
What did Denmark’s team doctor say?
Denmark’s team doctor Morten Boesen also spoke to the media on Sunday, having been the one who gave Eriksen emergency treatment at Parken Stadium, but was unable to explain what caused the midfielder to black out.
“We don’t have an explanation, so I can’t answer the question,” he said. “I only saw it afterwards, so you guys saw the same as me.”
Asked by the BBC how close they came to losing the Inter star, Boesen responded: “How close we were? I don’t know. We got him back quite fast. I’m not a cardiologist so I’ll leave the analysis to experts.”
Hjulmand’s conversations with Eriksen
Hjulmand also revealed what Eriksen said to him when they spoke over the phone after he was declared to be in a stable condition in hospital.
He said that the Danish playmaker, who will remain hospitalised for the time being to undergo more tests, had very little recollection of the incident and was more worried about his team-mates and family than his own wellbeing.
“He was concerned about us and the family,” Hjulmand said. “He didn’t remember much and was more concerned about how the team felt. That shows his big personality.
“He is a hell of a player but also as a person. He feels like he could go out and play and he feels best when his feet are close to the ball. It was good to see him smile.”