Denmark coach steps up UEFA cr...


Denmark coach steps up UEFA criticism following Eriksen's cardiac arrest

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The Denmark head coach claims a coronavirus outbreak would have been dealt with more sensitively by UEFA than Christian Eriksen's cardiac arrest.

Kasper Hjulmand has added to his players' criticism of European football's governing body over their handling if the Euro 2020 game with Finland.

The Group B match at the Parken Stadium resumed less than two hours after Eriksen collapsed on the pitch, requiring a defibrillator to save his life.

UEFA offered Denmark two options for the game - resume at 7.30pm that night, or noon the next day. Denmark lost the game 1-0.

Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel felt they were rushed into the decision by UEFA, while Martin Braithwaite said, "None of those choices were good.

"We took the lesser of two evils to finish the match. Many of the players were not in a condition to play this match. We were in a different space."

Speaking ahead of Thursday's meeting with Belgium, Hjulmand has further laid into UEFA, claiming they failed to "lead with compassion", and put his players "in a hugely difficult situation”.

The Denmark coach said, "The only real leadership would have been to put the players on a bus and send them home. And then deal with it after.

"With corona cases it’s possible to postpone a game for 48 hours. But with cardiac arrest, apparently it’s not. And I think that’s wrong.

"You don’t necessarily find good leadership in the protocols. Good leadership can sometimes be to lead with compassion.”

UEFA defended their handling of the situation on Monday, saying time restrictions simply didn't allow for any further wiggle-room regarding the Denmark - Finland fixture.

Their initial statement on Saturday said it was the Danish players' idea to resume on Saturday evening.

Hjulmand says that was inaccurate, "It’s completely wrong to give the perception that it was we who came and said we wanted to continue playing as our first option. It was a choice between the two scenarios.

"And then you can argue whether we were put under pressure.

"I felt that the players — and us close to them — were put under that pressure and were given that dilemma. It was a hugely difficult situation to be in.”

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Christian Eriksen Euro 2020 Finland Kasper Hjulmand Kasper Schmeichel Martin Braithwaite UEFA

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