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Eriksen: 'I'm fine under the circumstances'

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Published in Soccer
Tuesday, 15 June 2021 01:42

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen has said he feels "fine -- under the circumstances" in his first message to fans since he suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday.

Eriksen, 29, collapsed in the 43rd minute of Denmark's Euro 2020 opener against Finland in Copenhagen. He was administered CPR on the field and then taken to hospital. Just over an hour after he collapsed, the Danish FA said his condition had stabilised.

- Marcotti: Eriksen's collapse a reminder of fragility of life

Eriksen is still in hospital awaiting further tests as they seek to determine what caused his cardiac arrest. But in his first official communication since collapsing, Eriksen said: "Hello everyone, Big thanks for your sweet and amazing greetings and messages from all around the world. It means a lot to me and my family.

"I'm fine -- under the circumstances. I still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel OK. Now, I will cheer on the boys on the Denmark team in the next matches. Play for all of Denmark. Best, Christian."

Eriksen had already been in touch with his Denmark teammates, who finished the match against Finland, losing 1-0. The decision by UEFA to play the match on Saturday evening, restarting just over an hour and a half after Eriksen collapsed, has received widespread criticism.

UEFA offered the players, who gathered in the dressing room after they witnessed Eriksen being treated on the pitch following a cardiac arrest, the choice of resuming the match on Saturday or beginning again on Sunday at noon local time (6 a.m. ET).

"We were put in a position which I personally don't think we should have been put in," Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel told reporters on Monday. "It probably required that someone above us had said that it was not the time to make a decision and maybe should wait for the next day."

Midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg also said Eriksen delivered a message via video link from the hospital to say that he is doing OK and that Denmark should try to focus on playing their next game, against Belgium on Thursday in Copenhagen.

"We had two options. None of the options were good. We took the least bad one. There were a lot of players that weren't able to play the match. They were elsewhere [mentally]," Danish striker Martin Braithwaite said Monday.

"You could have wished for a third option in this situation," he added.

UEFA said it had dealt with the matter as carefully as it could at the time, however.

"UEFA is sure it treated the matter with utmost respect for the sensitive situation and for the players," a statement said. "It was decided to restart the match only after the two teams requested to finish the game on the same evening.

"The players' need for 48 hours' rest between matches eliminated other options."

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand also said on Sunday that he did not think the players should have been back on the pitch.

Denmark's next Euro 2020 match is against Belgium on Thursday in Copenhagen.

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