In times of crisis, sports brings even rivals together and this was exemplified in the Euro 2020 Group B match between Denmark and Finland when Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen suddenly collapsed on the pitch. Eriksen collapsed during the first half of the match, sparking immediate concerns. Eriksen was stretchered off the pitch after being administered CPR. Before he was stretchered off, Denmark players formed a protective shield around Eriksen to prevent him from being photographed. As he was being stretchered off, Finland supporters gave the Danish players and medical staff two Finnish flags to help shield the Inter Milan midfielder till the tunnel.
The move won hearts of football fans, with several taking to Twitter to laud the gesture.
I think there’s also something warming as the Finland fans threw on their flags to help cover and provide privacy Eriksen as he left the pitch. pic.twitter.com/XYx9FDA1cJ
— CI (@CaIMcI) June 12, 2021
Start a chant of Eriksen after he’s been taken off the pitch.
Gift Finnish flags for cover when he gets taken off.
Score Finland’s first goal in a major tournament against a far superior opponent but choose not to celebrate out of respect.
Class from fans and players today. pic.twitter.com/6F9NJ75ezB
— Antti Korpela (@Antti_K_QPR) June 12, 2021
Prayers for Christian Eriksen
Finland fans gave their flags after Christian Eriksen collapsed during the match
Wishing him speedy recovery. pic.twitter.com/48HUmAOI1r
— Reymi (@ReymiSekhhon) June 12, 2021
The two pieces of clothes that were being used to give privacy to #Eriksen while he was being stretchered off were actually flags of Finland given by fans from the stand.Respect! pic.twitter.com/UG8EAd6ej1
— Jarno Saari (@SaariJarno) June 12, 2021
Stadium-wide chants of “Christian” and “Eriksen” also erupted from both sets of supporters as they waited while the game was suspended.
“Christian Eriksen is awake and is undergoing further tests” at the hospital, the Danish federation said on Twitter as the fans waited.
UEFA said Eriksen had been “stabilised” after the match was suspended in the first half.
Play eventually resumed, and Finland ran out 1-0 winners courtesy of a second-half winner from Joel Pohjanpalo.
The match, which had kicked off at 1800 local time (1600 GMT), resumed two-and-a-half hours later in front of a passionate crowd at the Parken Stadium.
The two teams played out an uneventful final few minutes of the first half after both sets of players returned to the pitch with several Danish players in tears.
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