Euro 2020: Why it was unfair for broken Denmark to continue against Finland after Eriksen incident

Denmark lost 1-0 to Finland in their opening game at Euro 2020
Denmark lost 1-0 to Finland in their opening game at Euro 2020

Some moments in football are tough to forget. Goals, tough tackles, celebrations and tears are just the least of these unforgettable moments.

When it comes to injuries, the emotions are deeper. A career-threatening injury always leaves a sour taste in the mouth, but the feeling is more excruciating when it’s a life-threatening incident.

The latter was the case with Christian Eriksen when he fell unconscious during Denmark’s Euro 2020 opening match against Finland on Saturday.

The Inter Milan forward collapsed unchallenged and needed emergency CPR from medics on the pitch to regain consciousness before being taken off on a stretcher.

Kjaer and the superheroes on the pitch

It was a horrifying moment that sent shivers down the spines of the football world. Everyone was left downbeat after the incident, with the world uniting in prayers for Eriksen.

Denmark captain Simon Kjaer was one of the first players at the scene, and he demonstrated his leadership by attempting to resuscitate his teammate.

The medical staff then took over and managed to revive the Inter Milan star before Kjaer was captured, consoling Eriksen’s partner.

These were the superheroes of a moment that was clearly frightening for everyone. But they remained focused, even in the face of panic and trepidation, to help save the footballer's life.

Denmark was never the same after the Eriksen incident

A Danish newspaper had an interesting headline for the game: “Denmark lost. But life won.” Indeed, Erikson’s life is worth more than any scoreline, but the game shouldn’t have been allowed to continue.

Despite the player recovering moments later and even encouraging his teammates to play on, the authorities should have pulled the plug.

The Danish players were clearly shattered by the incident and were never going to be in the right frame of mind to continue the game, especially on the same day.

Denmark dominated proceedings before the unfortunate incident happened, but they lost momentum after the game was restarted.

The goal they eventually conceded – a header from Joel Pohjanpalo – was a complete give-away after Kasper Schmeichel fluffed his lines.

On another day, the Leicester City shot-stopper would have saved that header, but he was clearly distracted after what had happened.

Pierre-Emile Hoejbjerg also missed a penalty that could have earned Denmark a draw. All this points to a team that was totally broken after watching their teammate battle for his life on the pitch.

Maybe UEFA should begin thinking more about the mental health of footballers. What happened on Saturday should never happen again; no human being deserves to go through that.

Edited by Arjun Panchadar
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