Eriksen collapse: is football demanding too much of players?
Denmark's midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed in the 43rd minute of the European Championship match against Finland and had to be resuscitated. Faced with the choice of continuing the game or postponing it to the next day, the teams decided to restart the match once Eriksen's condition had stabilised in hospital. For Europe's press, the incident raises several questions.
Uefa should have protected players
European football's governing body put unwarranted pressure on the Danish players when they were in a state of shock, Politiken fumes:
“Uefa should have stepped forward and formed a ring around the players just as the players shielded Christian Eriksen. Instead they were forced to continue playing, on the basis of protocols guaranteeing that suspended matches are quickly resumed. Only after a completely pointless game were the players driven back to their hotel, where they spent the night with crisis counsellors. Uefa brushed off the criticism, arguing that everything had been done according to the rules. ... It said that postponing a match was all but impossible. It said that postponing a match is all but impossible. And, it added, it's also not so nice to disappoint the rights holders who paid billions for the broadcasting rights.”
Exploitation takes its toll
The physical strain that results from players having to play more and more matches is an ongoing issue in top-level football. Something has to change here, Magyar Hang insists:
“The Eriksen case will probably raise the question once more of how to prevent such a tragedy from happening to players who are being pushed to the limit. Why could this not be avoided, despite all the modern technology and permanent medical supervision? And really, what point is there in exploiting the players more and more like this?”
Highlighting the importance of first aid
Denmark's team captain Simon Kjaer pulled Eriksen's tongue out of his throat to ensure it did not block his airway. De Morgen calls for measures to ensure that there is always someone on the pitch who can take swift action in such cases:
“There is little point in relying even more on health screenings. But making first aid and resuscitation a priority is all the more vital. When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, it's important to intervene as quickly as possible. Not only on the football pitch, but also in daily life. ... Heart specialists are calling for first aid courses to be promoted at youth and sports clubs. So that more future football captains know what to do if one of their players suddenly collapses.”