Peter Schmeichel Says UEFA Didn't Give Denmark The Choice Not To Play After Christian Eriksen Collapsed
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Peter Schmeichel has revealed that Denmark and Finland players weren't given the option not to play on following Christian Eriksen's collapse on Saturday.
The world was shocked by the images of Eriksen,who collapsed late in the first half of the two sides' Euro 2020 opener, as his teammates formed a circle around him to give the midfielder and the medics privacy as they performed CPR.
Eriksen was taken to hospital soon after, and it was confirmed he was in a stable condition. It didn't take long until UEFA said the match would go on, to the surprise of everyone.
Reports suggested that the Danish players had said they wanted the match to go ahead that evening, having spoken to the Inter Milan midfielder, but now Schmeichel, whose son Kasper comforted Eriksen's partner on the pitch, has claimed that's not the full picture.
"Well that's an interesting debate," the former Manchester United keeper told ITV's Good Morning Britain when asked if playing the game was the players' decision.
"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.
"As you can hear from yesterday's press conference, the coach, he seriously regrets putting the players back on to the pitch."
Denmark lost the game 1-0, thanks to Joel Pohjanpalo's goal on the hour mark, which the younger Schmeichel might have done better with, to give Finland their first win at a major tournament.
After the match Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand broke down in tears during his press conference, and did seem to confirm what Schmeichel senior had claimed.
"We had two options to play the game [on Saturday] or tomorrow [Sunday] at 12pm and everyone agreed to play today. You can't play a game with such feelings. We tried to win. It was incredible they managed to go out and try to play the second half.
"Honestly, there were players out there that were completely done. Emotionally done and emotionally exhausted."
The players have till Thursday to get ready for their game against Belgium, who beat Russia on Saturday with Romelu Lukaku paying tribute to his club teammate after scoring, before facing Russia a week on Monday.
Featured Image Credit: Good Morning Britain/PA
Topics: Football, Euro 2020, Denmark, Peter Schmeichel, Christian Eriksen