Denmark criticize UEFA for their Euro 2020 game against Finland

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Denmark are not happy that European football governing body, UEFA, gave them “no choice” over the decision to complete their opening Euro 2020 game against Finland on Saturday, June 12.

Recall that the match had to be halted for over two hours after Danish attacking midfielder, Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch. It was later confirmed that he suffered a cardiac arrest. He is currently responding to treatment at a hospital in Denmark.

Denmark criticize UEFA for their Euro 2020 game against Finland
Christian Eriksen receiving medical attention.

The attacking midfielder collapsed towards the end of the first half which forced the game to be halted. According to a former goalkeeper of Denmark, Peter Schmeichel, UEFA gave Denmark three options after the incident.

Option one was that the national team should return two hours after the incident to play the remaining 50 minutes of the game. Option two was that the match should be postponed until noon the next day. While the last option was that Denmark would lose the game 3-0 if they decide not to show up for the game.

Denmark players decided to return after two hours to play the remaining 50 minutes of the game which they lost 1-0.

In an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Peter Schmeichel stressed that those options UEFA gave Denmark left the players with no choice.

Schmeichel said: “I 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.

“I 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 [Sunday] at 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? I don’t think they had.

“As you can hear from yesterday’s press conference, the coach seriously regrets putting the players back onto the pitch.”

In the same vein, Denmark forward Martin Braithwaite stressed that the players had no choice but to choose one least bad choice from the options UEFA presented to them.

Denmark forward Martin Braithwaite
Denmark forward Martin Braithwaite.

The FC Barcelona star said he and his teammates were no longer in the right state of mind after the incident and they were not supposed to return to the pitch if there was a better option.

The Denmark forward Martin Braithwaite said: “None of the options were good. We took the least bad one. There were lots of players who were unable to play. We were in a bad place. We made the least bad decision.

“We were told we had to make a decision. That’s the only thing I can say. I wished there was a third option. Because I did not want to go out again. But Uefa said there were two options. We decided because we knew we would not be able to sleep that night.”

On how he felt about Christian Eriksen’s incident, Denmark forward said: “I am still emotional about the situation. Most importantly Christian is feeling better and therefore I am feeling better too.

“His health is the most important thing of all. It was important for me personally to see that he felt better via video. I had some pictures in my head from last Saturday that I would like to get rid of.

“We were all about to lose a friend and a teammate. It’s not something you normally think of on a football pitch. Joy and love are normal. No one can prepare for what happened.”

Denmark’s next Group B game is against Belgium on Thursday. They are expected to prepare for the game and play it without Eriksen.