Christian Eriksen was in a stable condition on Saturday night after collapsing on the field during Denmark’s Euro 2020 match against Finland.
Eriksen, the former Tottenham midfielder, collapsed on the field and was given urgent CPR treatment by medical staff before being taken to hospital in Copenhagen, with the Group B match restarting at 7.30pm BST.
Stunned team-mates watched in tears as Eriksen lay on the pitch, with the 29 year old’s wife, Sabrina, in clear distress as she was comforted on the field by Denmark captain Simon Kjaer and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
The sickening incident occurred three minutes before the end of the first-half, with Eriksen falling to the floor as he ran to control the ball from a throw-in, with no players near him.
English referee Anthony Taylor immediately called for assistance and Eriksen received medical attention for around ten minutes.
Television cameras panned away as the Inter Milan player received further medical attention, with the Parken Stadium falling silent. Officials at the stadium held up two white sheets to ensure supporters could not see Eriksen being treated.
BBC’s Match of The Day were screening the game and ended the scheduled show shortly after 6pm.
Eriksen was later transferred to Rigshospitalet, a specialist hospital in the Danish capital, and Uefa issued a statement to reveal he had been “stabilised.”
Perhaps surprisingly, the Danish FA confirmed that the game would go ahead at 7.30pm GMT after the squad were assured over Eriksen’s condition.Finland went on to win the game.
Eriksen’s agent, Martin Schoots, told Danish radio: “Christian Eriksen is out of danger, his father told me from the hospital. He’s able to speak”.
The harrowing scenes evoked memories of Fabrice Muamba, the former Bolton midfielder, who suffered a cardiac arrest in an FA Cup tie against Tottenham nine years ago.
Muamba’s heart stopped beating for 78 minutes, before his retirement five months later. On Saturday night, Muamba tweeted ‘Please God’.
The Football Association said in a statement: “Our thoughts this evening are with Christian Eriksen and his family, and all connected with the Danish Football Union.”
Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, posted on Twitter: “Awful scenes at Denmark v Finland Euros game. Thoughts with Christian Eriksen and his family.”
BBC pundit Alex Scott fought back tears while discussing the incident after Saturday’s match was suspended, saying it had prompted her to tell her mother that she loved her.
That was after the corporation, which was covering the match, cut back to the studio, having remained with the live action until that point.
That was despite mounting anger on social media at its failure to cut away from images which included attempts to resuscitate Eriksen and of what appeared to be his wife in obvious distress on the touchline.
A BBS spokesperson said. “Everyone at the BBC is hoping Christian Erikson makes a full recovery. We apologise to anyone who was upset by the images broadcast.
“In stadium coverage is controlled by Uefa as the host broadcaster, and as soon as the match was suspended, we took our coverage off air as quickly as possible.”
Some cited Ofcom guidelines which read: “Broadcasters should not take or broadcast footage or audio of people caught up in emergencies, victims of accidents or those suffering a personal tragedy, even in a public place, where that results in an infringement of privacy, unless it is warranted or the people concerned have given consent.”
Australian network Optus Sport, another Euro 2020 rights holder, apologised for showing the footage.
Richard Bayliss, its director of sport, posted on Twitter: “Apologies that distressing pictures were shown on @OptusSport. Such scenes are obviously the last thing you expect, and there is no handbook on handling that situation. It’s shocked everyone. The only thing that matters now is that Christian Eriksen is ok.”