The 2020 UEFA European Championship kicked off with a frightening start on Saturday. Viewers around the globe watched as Denmark's Christian Eriksen collapsed in the first half of play, with cameras catching the athlete receiving CPR and his wife's reaction in the stands. According to CBS Sports, the "medical emergency" led to Eriksen being transported from the field to a hospital where he was "stabilized" before being marked as "awake" by officials.
Both the Finnish and Danish teams sat for a crisis meeting shortly after the incident, meeting with UEFA officials and taking a phone call from Eriksen in the hospital. A decision was reached to restart the match and finish it.
“Christian Eriksen breathes and can speake. He’s awake”. Martin Schoots, Eriksen agent, just told this to NPO Radio1 after speaking with Christian’s father, reports @OzcanAkyol. 🇩🇰❤️🙏🏻 #prayforEriksen— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 12, 2021
The frightening scene was caught on camera and broadcast around the globe on BBC, ESPN and other networks, earning some condemnation on social media for keeping the cameras on Eriksen while he was being revived. Eriksen's tumble seemed to come out of nowhere and led to the Dutch teammates, partner Sabrina Kvist Jensen and many of the fans of in attendance to get emotional, believing the worst.
Thankfully Eriksen was revived and taken to the hospital, with the good news eventually confirmed by his agent, Martin Schoots. "Christian Eriksen breathes and can speak, he's awake," Schoots said on Dutch radio.
Eriksen's ordeal quickly gained support on social media and through former players who experienced similar. According to CBS Sports, Fabrice Muamba experienced a similar situation in 2012 and was "effectively dead" for 78 minutes. The same goes for David Ginola, who commented on Twitter praising the first aid staff on site and stressing the importance of CPR. Ginola collapsed during a charity match and was comatose before recovering eventually.
Yes CPR saves lives and everyone should know how to do it!🙏 https://t.co/JmEr3sXPpq— David Ginola (@teamginola) June 12, 2021
Eriksen's professional team, Inter Milan, spoke to the Associated Press via team physician Piero Volpi, revealing he was in contact with the Danish soccer federation and were waiting on more details behind the incident.
"We're in contact with the Danish federation, the team manager, the team physician. But we still don't know anything yet," Volpi told the outlet. "We heard what UEFA said and we're all happy that he's been stabilized. But that's all we know."
According to ESPN, Eriksen is one of the biggest stars on Denmark's team, and the crowd's reaction cemented that. Fans cheered as Eriksen was taken from the field awake, with Finnish and Danish fans chanting his name.