Was it wrong to restart the Denmark v Finland game after Eriksen’s collapse?

In a world where it’s so easy to offend people, the handling of a player needing lifesaving treatment on a football pitch is bound to create debate.

 

Witnessing Christian Ericksen receive CPR 43 minutes into a match led to the usual cliches from the world of Sport and social media.

 

‘Football’s just a game.’

‘Nothing’s more important than life, etc’.

 

Don’t get me wrong, many will mean those words. I say ‘cliché’ though because actions speak louder than words.

 

The same TV companies who presenters told us that nothing at that point was more important than the player’s welfare and the thoughts were with his family and friends, didn’t think it appropriate to cut away from the 29-year-old being medically treated.

 

I don’t know the legislation for broadcasters abroad, but Ofcom regulate that an individual should not be recorded in distress without permission. Hence a director ordering a camera to be put on a girlfriend crying because she’s unaware about a loved one’s welfare can only be called a ratings opportunity.

 

BBC have released a statement reminding the public they are not in control of the live feed, but they still had the option of cutting the feed at any point.

 

No matter individual countries our policy and procedures, surely your morality kicks in?

 

There’s a reason why the Denmark team surrounded a shield round their Star man. There’s a reason why a white sheet and Finland flag was used to block people’s view. Sadly, some didn’t get the hint.

 

They got their shot of Kasper Schmeichel comforting Eriksen’s partner. Some were even able to find a way through their obstructed view and get the money shot – the Dane being stretchered away wearing an oxygen mask.

 

I wonder how many of the press asked him or his family if it were okay to plaster though images on back and front pages of the newspapers?

 

Don’t get me wrong, I accept the world is ruthless. Just be honest and don’t insult our intelligence by pretending this taught you any kind of perspective.

 

No statement was more insulting then UEFA who had the audacity to praise the ‘football family’ for coming together.

 

When claiming that the players of Denmark and Finland had requested to finish the game, they conveniently left one small detail out …… UEFA had given only two choices, play in the evening or play the next day at lunch time.

 

In other words the players picked the less uncomfortable option, but it was still uncomfortable.

If the Governing Body really cared, if the sport in that moment truly was the least of their priorities, if thoughts truly were with everyone affected by the trauma of what they just seen, why the demand for the fixture to be played inside the 24 hours? Why put players in that position?

 

Why not show empathy and sensitivity?

 

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t offended the game resumed. I’m offended it resumed then those in power pretended they cared.

 

The Denmark manager has since admitted that he knew he had players who were not mentally in a place where they could give the aggression needed for a game at this level.

“We had two options to play the game [today] or tomorrow at 12pm and everyone agreed to play today.

“There was no pressure from Uefa to play tonight…honestly it was best to get it over with.

“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.

Imagine watching one of your work mates collapse and lose consciousness in front of you. Imagine being asked to carry on working not knowing their condition. At the very least your employer would accept your work performance to be below par.

 

I would have loved the Danish FA to call UEFA bluff and refuse to play this weekend. If that meant Finland were awarded the three points, then at least it would publicly show what UEFA’s priority was.

 

That would allow Denmark to focus on what they claimed was more important than a football score. Instead they made mistakes, with Eriksen’s ordeal used as an excuse which in itself is an insult.

 

In the last 17 months, the world has made so many sacrifices, they have been reminded not to take for granted their friends and families. Too many lives have been lost to make us aware.

 

We didn’t need a footballer’s life to be in the balance to teach us to appreciate the simple things and that sport is nothing to be stressed about.

 

While Covid has taught us that it also showcased how harsh the universe can be and how it doesn’t discriminate when it comes to grief.

 

Unfortunately the events in Copenhagen reminded us that as much as fans will come together and see the bigger picture, greed isn’t far away.

 

Less than two hours after telling a friend’s girlfriend that his mate was receiving heart compressions, Schmeichel was picking a ball out of his own net. A man shouldn’t have to do those two things in the same day.

 

That he did; we should ask why? Unfortunately, I know the answer. TV companies and UEFA prioritise money and it will take a lot for them to do anything that will cost them revenue.

Showing a girl crying while she watches her boyfriend go into cardiac arrest makes good TV.

UEFA don’t want to upset their advertisers by changing their schedule.

Yet both have the nerve to preach that nothing is more important than the players health?

 

Be kind in the comments

Dan

23 Comments

  1. S.J says:

    The incident to Eriksen affected the balance of the game. They would have agreed to play the game another day.

    To add to it, only that game actually made me lose my bet slip. So, I will be quite sentimental. The game should not have continued.

  2. Highbury Hero says:

    The Denmark manager said there was no pressure from UEFA and that there was, an option to postpone the game but everyone agreed to get it over with.

    What am I missing?

    1. gotanidea says:

      And Eriksen himself asked his teammates to continue

      We’d better move on from the horrific incident and stop instigating a new debate based on it

      1. ozziegunner says:

        👍 👍 If the players were okay with it, why is it an issue?

        1. Dan says:

          They were not okay with it
          They had two choices so took the worse choice

    2. Admin Pat says:

      “option to postpone game”. Yes until lunchtime the next day, not to abandon the game…

      1. Joe Allysons says:

        @admin, It would also be unfair to everyone to abandon the game. Where would the points go ? It’s a tournament which needs to progress . You realize the result from this match means something all the way to the final. It takes logistics to make a game happen. These teams spent money on transportation, food, allowances, licenses . Sponsors paid for screen time. There are so many parties that the idea of simply abandoning a game becomes awkward.

        Entities don’t change their accounting simply because an unfortunate incident happened.
        Take project restart. Tv companies needed for either teams to finish their fixtures, or refund the TV money. Club shirt deals are expiring and changing before the elapsing of seasons. This is because , someone already spent money and they are not responsible for the misfortunes that caused the problem.

        1. Dan says:

          You simply play it another time
          Some things are more important

    3. Dan says:

      Send me a link mate

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        It is there in the article I just quoted it.

  3. Son says:

    There was news that Eriksson was conscious and spoke with the team mates before the game restarted.

    I know the Danish players after witnessing what had happened to their mate would not be in the right frame of mind, but they had an option, unlucky for them anyways because the were favourites to win that game.

  4. AndersS says:

    Many thanks for this article.
    Being Danish I of course watched the game, and have also followed the discussions here in the Danish media and the listened to the players’ comments.
    It was a very traumatic evening. Denmark was for the first time hosting a European Championship game. It had been long awaitied, and it was supposed to be a “party” as well as a sporting event on a high level.
    Seeing one of our players collapse with a cardiac arrest and having more than 40 minutes where we believed he might be dead, was shocking for us watching. I can’t imagine, what the players must have felt.
    UEFA giving the choice between finishing the game straight away or next day at noon can be perceived as cynical. But I also think, there is never going to be a good solution here.
    As for the TV stations – I totally agree. They were too slow to react. All Danish stations have apologized, I believe.

  5. Goonster says:

    Life has to continue moving along.

    Lets toughen up.

    1. W says:

      Life has to move on ?
      It hadn’t even been two hours

  6. Brown says:

    I was shocked when i heard Finland won a game i thought would be postponed and players given time to recover from the shock at the very least not because they were not good enough but b/c the Dane players should never have been put in that position of having to finish the game within 24 hours. I had left my TV cos i could’nt bare to watch Ericksen in such agony and only kept myself updated about his condition online. UEFA body know they’ve let greed get the better of them here, ain’t no question.

    1. Awhy says:

      Marc-Vivien Foe died while playing against Colombia in the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2003, the match was not stopped neither was the Final match postponed. Cameroon still went ahead to play the final which they lost against France.
      Until football world put things in proper perspective and come up with what to do in situations like this, the status quo remains.

  7. jon fox says:

    An important and extremely well thought through article that gives a perfect summation of the greed and humbug shown by UEFA. Bravo DAN SMITH, FIGHTER FOR TRUTH!

  8. Declan says:

    The biggest wrong in this whole incident was tv dwelling on a possibly dead player getting cpr and then close ups of his distressed partner in absolute bits. Disgusting actions by the tv companies. The very best news is that Eriksen is alive and relatively well and best wishes to him and his family.

    1. Sue says:

      Well said, Declan

  9. Ximplicity says:

    Great article. The press and media houses won’t write articles like this. It shows how greedy and self centered all these associations, they mostly care about their lining their pockets. Thank God Eriksen is okay now

  10. Reggie says:

    It didn’t matter what decision was taken last night, someone will always come out and say it was wrong. The player apparently wanted it played out but even if he didnt, whatever decision made would have been wrong for some. The important thing is Ericson is doing well, the rest is incidental.

  11. Stephanie says:

    They could have played the following day

  12. Indeed says:

    nice article!

    However, what would have been your position if the Danes had won? Maybe your caption could have been “Great show of courage in the face of adversity”

    Erikson is well! And that was/is the greatest victory, not football! If you agree with the cliche, then why bother about the outcome of a game. The Danish players played the game following UEFA’s conditions. They should simply rejoice over Erikson miraculous victory over death and forget about the game!

    We were all praying to God to spare Erikson’s life, and after He granted our prayers, now, we are discussing if a game should have continued or not. Human beings will always be human beings. Never grateful!

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