Denmark’s shock loss against Finland wasn’t the most shocking incident in the Euros so far. The game had to be stopped midway as Christian Eriksen collapsed to the ground. He was given life-saving cardiac massage treatment and after several minutes was taken to the hospital. The prayers of the football community were heard when Eriksen was finally declared to be stable.
“Our thoughts this evening are with Christian Eriksen and his family, and all connected with the Danish Football Union.” – The Football Association’s statement
The sight of the Danish fans and Finland fans cheering the player upon his recovery was a delight. The incident proves why football is so often referred to as “The Beautiful Game”.
ANY HISTORY OF A HEART CONDITION?
Although the player has regained consciousness and is in stable condition, there is looming doubt on the player’s future. His past medical reports all come clear of any previous heart-related health conditions. In fact, Serie A has one of the best systems in the world for checking and preventing heart-related problems. Even after coming through such stringent measures, he was victim to a cardiac arrest. This shows how dangerous and unsuspecting heart problems can be.
Inter Milan team physician Piero Volpi confirmed that the player had not contacted Covid-19 and cleared all tests before joining the club in January last year (source: The Associated Press). Furthermore, Dr Sanjay Sharma, Eriksen’s consulting doctor during his time at Tottenham, confirms that the player had no history of heart conditions. He also claims that there were no obvious underlying diseases.
THE PRESENT SCENARIO
With all the reports suggesting that the player had no history of such a condition, concerns are being raised. What might have been the cause? Further tests and reports that will be conducted will throw light on the incident. This will also create awareness among the general public. Even someone like Eriksen, who had no previous conditions, suffered a deadly cardiac arrest.
All of our thoughts are with Christian Eriksen and his family. 🙏🏼 🤍
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) June 12, 2021
The efforts made by the medical staff present in the stadium and also his teammates are commendable. Eriksen’s life was saved due to the diligence and quick thinking of these crucial doctors. The referee also deserves credit for acting swiftly to call in the medical team.
The fact that the player is stable and awake is a good sign. Although his career might be in jeopardy, the player, his family and fans will be relieved that he regained his consciousness.
“It brought back stuff that I have put down in me, this emotion that’s down there. To watch it from that distance and not know what was going to happen.”- Fabrice Muamba, former Bolton Wanders midfielder (Source: BBC).
Muamba suffered a similar fate when he collapsed on the ground in an FA Cup match in 2012. Upon further consultations, the doctors suggested that the player retires from his career. At the age of 24, Muamba officially retired as a player. Many players faced similar situations but were not lucky enough to make it through, Cameroon’s Marc-Vivian Foe death being one such example.
WILL HE PLAY AGAIN?
Dr Sharma is a professor of Sports at St. George’s University in London and also chairs the FA’s expert cardiac consensus group. His expert opinion suggests that Eriksen might not be able to continue his career as a professional footballer.
“Without putting it too bluntly, he died today, albeit for a few minutes, but he did die and would the medical professional allow him to die again?
“The answer is no.” (Source: Sky News)
Christian Eriksen to Gazzetta dello Sport: "Thank you, I won't give up. I feel better now – but I want to understand what's happened. I want to say thank you all for what you did for me". Eriksen was talking to his manager who reported Chris sentences from the hospital. 🇩🇰 pic.twitter.com/anWUjcbEtP
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 13, 2021
An extensive investigation will be conducted to find the cause of the incident. There are also suggestions that Eriksen might need a special pacemaker called a defibrillator which monitors every heartbeat. The machine can inform if the incident happens again and can also shock the heart internally.
One of the doctors who treated Muamba also agrees with Prof. Sharma’s verdict. Christian Eriksen’s future as a player is bleak and there is a high probability that he does not play again. Even if the player regains full strength, likely, the League does not allow him to play. If the player does end up retiring from football, this could have a positive impact on society.
More people will be made aware of the issues concerning the heart. More and more people will need to learn CPR, something that could help save a life in dire situations. This may lead to a positive awareness.
🗣️ 'Whatever else happens in this tournament, for me, they'll be the heroes in this one'.
— BBC Sport Scotland (@BBCSportScot) June 13, 2021
We at FootTheBall hope and pray that the player makes a speedy recovery. We also extend our thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and teammates in the Denmark national team.