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UEFA react to allegations of pushing Denmark’s players to play on after Christian Eriksen collapsed.

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UEFA react to allegations of pushing Denmark’s players to play on after Christian Eriksen collapsed.

UEFA have denied insinuations Denmark were forced to proceed playing after Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and mantains the situation was treated with ‘utmost respect’ for the players.

The 29-year-old midfielder collapsed in the first half of Saturday’s Euro 2020 encounter with Finland and had to be resuscitated with a defibrillator, though he was awake and stable when moved to hospital and even urged his teammates to finish the match.

But the players – many of whom were in tears as CPR was performed on Eriksen – looked emotionally smashed in the rest of the game, which resumed just two hours later, and lost 1-0 to minnows Finland.

At the time, UEFA said the choice to finish the match was made ‘following the request made by players of both teams’ but since then Denmark’s boss and players have given a different version of events.

The troubled Danish players were effectively given an ultimatum: end the event on Saturday, resume at noon on Sunday or forfeit the match.

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“None of the options were good. We took the least bad one,” said striker Martin Braithwaite. “There were a lot of players that weren’t able to play the match, they were elsewhere [mentally].”

But UEFA have now defended the resolution to restart the match on Saturday evening and, with Denmark due to play Belgium in their next group game on Thursday, felt there was completely no other alternative.

“The players’ need for 48 hours rest between matches eliminated other options,” they revealed in a statement to Yahoo Sports on Monday.

“UEFA is sure it treated the matter with utmost respect for the sensitive situation and for the players.”

Legendary Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel – whose son Kasper played in the game– was especially critical of UEFA’s persistence on the match being completed and feels the players were forced into it.

Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he said:

“I actually saw an official quote from UEFA yesterday saying that they were following the advice of the player, the players insisted on playing… I know that not to be the truth.

“Or, it’s how you see the truth. They were left with three options, one was to play immediately and get the last 50 minutes played.

“The next one was to come in yesterday at 12 noon and finish the 50 minutes and the third option was to forfeit the game, 3-0.

“So work it out for yourself. Is it the players’ wish to play? Did they have any choice really? I don’t think they had.”

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UEFA react to allegations of pushing Denmark’s players to play on after Christian Eriksen collapsed.

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