Arduous season cited in Eriksen’s collapse

Croatia coach gives insight into exertions of players at Euro 2020

Denmark's Christian Eriksen is carried off after collapsing during the Euro 2020 match against Finland. He later recovered in hospital.
Denmark's Christian Eriksen is carried off after collapsing during the Euro 2020 match against Finland. He later recovered in hospital.
Image: Reuters

Zagreb – A long club season affected by the Covid-19 pandemic followed by a draining Euro 2020 tournament build-up could have contributed to Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen’s horrific collapse, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said yesterday.

The 29-year-old Denmark midfielder is in stable condition after suffering cardiac arrest during the first half of their 1-0 Group B defeat by Finland in Copenhagen on Saturday.

“We were really distressed by the horrific sight. It’s been a long season affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and now Euro 2020 is also a massive exertion for the players, not least because it requires so much travelling for most teams,” Dalic told an online news conference at Croatia's base camp in their coastal resort of Rovinj.

“Some of these factors have likely played a part.”

Danish players and staff expressed dissatisfaction at being told by Uefa in the immediate aftermath of the incident that they could either resume the match on Saturday night or begin again on Sunday.

Denmark are one of the hosts at the June 11-July 11 tournament featuring 24 nations and being played across Europe, having kicked off barely a few weeks after the end of the domestic club season that was affected by the pandemic.

After Sunday’s defeat by England at Wembley, Dalic conceded Croatia lacked bite up front and said they had no choice but to win their remaining Group D games against the Czech Republic and Scotland.

“I am fully aware that we left a whole lot to be desired going forward against England and we will have to be much more adventurous in our next game against the Czechs if we are to reach the last 16,” he said.

Croatia play the Czechs on Friday and take on Scotland on June 22. – Reuters 

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