Will Christian Eriksen have to retire after suffering cardiac arrest at Euro 2020?

Professor Sanjay Sharma has shed light on the prospects of the Inter Milan midfielder playing again: ‘Clearly something went terribly wrong,’ says

Peter Stubley
Thursday 17 June 2021 17:20
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Football world reacts after Christian Eriksen collapses at Euro 2020

Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen has confirmed that he is “OK” from his hospital bed after collapsing moments before half-time in Copenhagen last Saturday.

The Danish national team continue their Group B campaign at the Parken Stadium without the Inter Milan midfielder.

The 29-year-old, who has now been fitted with an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator) to monitor his health, faces an uncertain future in the game.

It is still premature to even consider a decision over his next game, with Fabrice Muamba suffering a cardiac arrest in 2012 and subsequently hanging his boots up.

Professor Sanjay Sharma, professor of sports cardiology at London’s St George’s University, has discussed the reasons for Eriksen’s collapse, including a high temperatures or an unidentified condition.

“Clearly something went terribly wrong,” he said. “But they managed to get him back, the question is what happened? And why did it happen?

“This guy had normal tests all the way up to 2019 so how do you explain this cardiac arrest?”

Prof Sharma also cast doubt over whether Eriksen would be cleared to play again, claiming that the Football Association, should he play in England again, would not give the green light.

“I don’t know whether he’ll ever play football again,” he added. “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.

“I think the Football Association will be very strict about whether he plays again or not. In the UK he wouldn’t play. We’d be very strict about it.”

One of the doctors who treated Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba said it would take time to establish whether Eriksen can make a complete recovery.

Cardiologist Dr Sam Mohiddin told BBC News: "It sounds like he has had successful CPR and he has regained normal cardiac rhythm because of defibrillation but there are other things that will have to be worked through."

He said that some stars with underlying heart disorders have had to stop playing sport because they are considered to be at risk.

Dr Mohiddin added: "The moment of extreme peril is the time of the cardiac arrest and treating that is a matter that requires people to promptly recognise what is happening and really address it quickly with CPR and a defibrillator.

"CPR saves lives. Most of us should learn how to perform CPR for all sorts of reasons and not just because cardiac arrests can affect sportspeople. Many other people will die of cardiac arrest."

Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during the first half of Bolton's FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham Hotspur in March 2012.

He recovered but announced his retirement from professional football six months later, aged 24. More recently he has worked as a youth coach.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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