The football community has heaped praise on Denmark captain Simon Kjaer following his heroic actions during Christian Eriksen’s health scare on Sunday morning AEST.
Late in the first half Denmark’s tournament opener against Finland, Eriksen fell face-forward into the turf at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium.
Teammates and spectators were seen crying and praying as medics performed CPR on the midfielder.
BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce said: “The pictures you are seeing here in the Parken Stadium in Denmark are terrible.”
Following 10 minutes of medical attention on the pitch, the 29-year-old was stretchered out of the venue and taken to hospital.
The Danish Football Union later revealed Eriksen was “awake” and “stable”.
“He remains hospitalised at Rigshospitalet for further examinations,” the statement read.
Countless people deserve recognition and thanks for their heroics, none more so than Kjaer.
After Eriksen collapsed, the 32-year-old defender quickly secured his teammate’s neck, cleared his airways and administrated CPR until medics arrived.
Kjaer then consoled Eriksen’s distraught wife Sabrina Kvist Jensen, wrapping his arms around her as the Inter Milan midfielder received treatment.
British television personality Piers Morgan tweeted: “Denmark’s captain @simonkjaer1989 ensured Eriksen didn’t swallow his tongue when he was unconscious, gave him CPR, told the squad to form a protective shield around him, consoled Eriksen’s horrified wife & has now led his team back into the game. You, sir, are a hero.”
Former Arsenal footballer Li Ke posted: “I think we all wonder how we’ll react in a crisis situation … And until it happens, you’ll never really know. Simon Kjaer now knows. Hero.”
Match referee Anthony Taylor was also applauded for immediately halting the Group B match and signalling for medical help when Eriksen collapsed.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Denmark team doctor Martin Boesen revealed Eriksen’s pulse had stopped during the scary ordeal.
“We were called on the pitch when Christian fell down, I didn’t see myself but it was pretty clear he was unconscious,” Boesen said.
“When I get to him, he’s on his side. He is breathing and I can see (a) pulse but suddenly that changes, and as everyone saw we started giving him CPR.
“The help came really, really fast from the medical team and the rest of the staff, and with their co-operation we did what we had to do. We managed to get Christian back.”
Meanwhile, the BBC was forced to apologise after football fans slammed the broadcaster for their “inexcusable” coverage of Eriksen’s health scare.
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