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Denmark and Belgium pause Euro clash to honour Eriksen

June 17, 2021 23:20 IST
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Christian Eriksen

IMAGE: Denmark fans react after the ball is kicked out in the 10th minute of the match to applaud Denmark's Christian Eriksen who remains in hospital after collapsing during the match between Denmark and Finland last Saturday. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Reuters

Denmark and Belgium stopped their Euro 2020 Group B clash on Thursday for a minute's applause as a tribute to Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen, who suffered a cardiac arrest in the Danes' opener against Finland at the Parken Stadium.

 

Christian Eriksen

IMAGE: A banner of support is raised in support of Christian Eriksen. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

As the stadium match clock showed minute 10 - Eriksen's shirt number - Belgium's Dries Mertens brought play to a halt and the players applauded as the Danish crowd unfurled a banner saying: 'All of Denmark is with you Christian'.

Eriksen is recovering at a nearby hospital and will have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) fitted to regulate his heart rhythm. His future in the game remains in doubt.

Christian Eriksen

IMAGE: Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku hugs Thomas Delaney of Denmark as the ball is kicked out of play in the tenth minute. Photograph: Hanna McKay - Pool/Getty Images

Eriksen's collapse shocked millions of viewers around the globe. The Finland game was suspended and when it eventually resumed, the Danes lost 1-0.

The red-and-white clad fans in the 25-000-strong crowd on Thursday gave the Danish players a warm welcome as they came out before the game, and Belgian fans held up a banner saying "Belgium loves you Christian" before kickoff.

Euro 2020

IMAGE: Fans of Belgium hold a message of support for Christian Eriksen. Photograph: Hanna McKay - Pool/Getty Images

That display was topped when a giant Denmark shirt featuring Eriksen's name and number was revealed during the opening ceremony to the jubilation of the crowd, followed by a rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone".

The gestures continued with a lusty rendition of the Danish national anthem before Denmark team captain Simon Kjaer was presented with a signed Belgium shirt featuring Eriksen's name and number by Jan Verthongen.

Christian Eriksen

IMAGE: A large replica Denmark shirt with Christian Eriksen, No 10 is displayed on the pitch prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group B match between Denmark and Belgium. Photograph: Hanna McKay - Pool/Getty Images

Denmark took the lead in the second minute through Yussuf Poulsen in a game the Danes need a result from following their defeat by the Finns.

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Source: REUTERS
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