The much-awaited football season is finally here with the Euros 2020 kicking off earlier this month. Yes, 2020 for the savage covid-19 pandemic had restricted us all, lest the players to their four walls. And the footballing industry could not afford to take the loss of about 200 million in rebranding the tournament to Euro 2021. So, with a name intact, world’s third biggest football league came to a low-key yet a steady start.
Promising to span from the deserts of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan to the Spain’s very own exotic Bilbao, this festival of European football will be spanning the length and breadth of the continent with 11 countries under the belt. This concern of the sacred bio bubble getting infiltrated with the virus, was on the minds of all
But 2 matches into the tournament, tragedy befell in the most unexpected way.
It was in the match of Group B’s Finland vs Denmark that Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the ground with no other player in close proximity. This was enough to bring the 16,000 strong audience to an apprehensive stillness as Eriksen received life- saving cardiac massage or CPR on the pitch
This brought the match to an inevitable standstill with the pensive tension in the stadium breaking a bit only after they received news of Eriksen being transported to a hospital within 1- kilometer radius. He was circumscribed by a human chain of his teammates who pensively stood there, some making sense of what just happened, some placing hope against hope for Eriksen and some trying to maintain their composure with tears welling up in their eyes, thus failing tremendously.
As they waited for more hopeful news to pour in, we witnessed that the Finnish fans began chanting “Christian” and the Danes responded to that with “Eriksen”. With this, we saw one of those rare instances in footballing history when fans forgetting all their national differences and game rivalries, come together for a common cause- football.
It was 42 minutes into the game that this incident happened which caused about a 2 hour delay. It was only after news of the 29-year-old’s stable condition broke that teams were given a choice to either continue the match or reschedule it for future. Eriksen’s teammates decided to face the challenge ahead by resuming the match for his sake.
But clearly, the Danish team despite the customary warm up drill, could not recover mentally from the incident. And this was the reason that the team finished with a loss of 1-0 to Finland. It’s times like this, that make us realize there is something more crucial and sensitive than fan prides and penalties– the delicacy of life
Image by Unsplash.
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