UEFA responds to criticism over handling of Denmark vs Finland

UEFA have released a statement regarding the resumption of the Denmark v Finland Euro 2020 group stage match, saying the need for players’ rest eliminated other options.

The game was stopped by referee Anthony Taylor on 43 minutes after Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch and had to be given emergency medical treatment. It was later confirmed that he had suffered a cardiac arrest.

Both teams left the field of play, with the completion of the match quickly taking a backseat.

After it was announced that Eriksen was awake and stable in hospital, UEFA tweeted that the match would resume at 8:30pm local time – just under two hours since it was originally halted.

They wrote: “Following the request made by players of both teams, UEFA has agreed to restart the match between Denmark and Finland tonight at 20:30 CET (TBC).”

Finland subsequently won the match 1-0, with Joel Pohjanpalo’s 59th-minute header sealing the victory.

After the game had concluded, Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand said that playing on was the “wrong decision“, given the traumatic scenes that had occurred earlier on.

And goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel said that the decision to play the game “should not have been made in the heat of the moment“.

His father Peter told Good Morning Britain that Denmark were given three options, with one of those a 3-0 forfeit. The other two were to play the game immediately, or reconvene at 12 noon the following day.

He added: “Is it the players’ wish to play? Did they have any choice, really? I don’t think they had.”

UEFA’s statement in full

European football’s governing body released a short statement yesterday addressing the issue.

They stated: “The players’ need for 48 hours rest between matches eliminated other options.

“UEFA is sure it treated the matter with utmost respect for the sensitive situation and for the players.”

Denmark are next in action on June 17, when they face Belgium in Copenhagen.

Featured Image Credit: Getty