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Christian Eriksen to have ‘heart starter’ implant after on-pitch collapse

The 29-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest in Denmark’s Euro 2020 defeat to Finland.

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch on Saturday.
Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch on Saturday.
Image: Friedemann Vogel/PA

DENMARK MIDFIELDER CHRISTIAN Eriksen is to be fitted with a defibrillator implant, the national team doctor has confirmed.

The 29-year-old Inter Milan midfielder had to be resuscitated on the pitch at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen after slumping to the ground during the first half of his side’s 1-0 Euro 2020 Group B defeat to Finland on Saturday evening.

Eriksen regained consciousness before being taken to hospital, where medics continue to work to identify what caused his cardiac arrest and have chosen to fit an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).

Providing an update on his status on Thursday, Denmark team doctor Morten Boesen said: “After Christian has been through different heart examinations it has been decided that he should have an ICD (heart starter).

“This device is necessary after cardiac attack due to rhythm disturbances.

“Christian has accepted the solution and the plan has moreover been confirmed by specialists nationally and internationally who all recommend the same treatment.

“We encourage everybody to give Christian and his family peace and privacy (in) the following time.”

The football world was stunned as events unfolded in front of millions on television on Saturday, and Eriksen thanked those who had sent messages of support in an Instagram post on Tuesday in which he said he was “fine – under the circumstances”.

His team-mates chose to complete the Finland game later on Saturday evening having been offered the option to return the following day.

Some of them were still clearly affected by what they had witnessed and Jesper Moller, chairman of the Danish Football Association the DBU, has since called for a change to Uefa regulations as a result.

He said in a statement on the DBU’s official website: “That is a situation players and coaches should not be put in. It is not and should not be their decision.

“It was a wrong decision and completely untenable that the players had to be on the field so soon after the horrible experience.

“We now want an evaluation of the entire decision-making process so that we can get all the relevant facts and information on the table.

“We must look at a change in the rules to ensure that we are never in the same situation again. We are ready to present a resolution to Uefa.”

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Eriksen’s team-mates have been preparing for Thursday’s fixture against Belgium at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.

Professor Sanjay Sharma, who chairs the Football Association’s expert cardiac consensus group, has expressed strong doubts over Eriksen playing professionally again after Saturday’s incident and told the PA news agency: “In the UK we’d be very strict about it.”

Daley Blind, a close friend and former Ajax team-mate of Eriksen, has played in Holland with an ICD fitted since twice experiencing cardiac symptoms during matches in 2019 and 2020. Blind was visibly emotional after he was substituted during Holland’s win over Ukraine, the day after Eriksen’s collapse.

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