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Prince William praised referee Anthony Taylor for his role in the aftermath of Christian Eriksen collapsing on the pitch during Denmark’s clash against Finland on Saturday.
The Inter playmaker suddenly collapsed during a distressing episode which saw the game immediately halted and medical staff rushed onto the field of play to treat Eriksen.
Such a serious and unexpected incident calls for emergency protocol to be deployed, with the officials, medics and players of each side deserving immense credit for how they handled the situation.
Denmark defender Simon Kjaer rushed to Eriksen’s aid to prevent his teammate from swallowing his tongue, while goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was on hand to stop players crowding around the player to allow the medical staff instant access to Eriksen.
Denmark players formed a protective ring around teammate Christian Eriksen after his sudden collapse
(Image: Wolfgang Rattay/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
However, the role of referee Taylor is also deserving of credit – he almost instantly stopped the match and ushered on the medics to attend to the stricken player.
Prince William took to social media on Saturday evening to send his best wishes to Eriksen, who is spending the night in a Copenhagen hospital where he is described as being in a ‘stable’ condition.
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However, the Duke of Cambridge also addressed the role played by Taylor – an experienced Premier League referee from Wythenshawe – in his quick-thinking actions.
“Encouraging news about Christian Eriksen, we are all thinking about him and his family," he wrote. "Well done to the medical team and Anthony Taylor for their calm and swift action. W.”
Eriksen was given urgent medical care, rushed to hospital and then brought to a stable condition in positive updates following the alarming incident.
Reports say that he briefly spoke to his Denmark teammates when he was conscious in hospital and gave his blessing for them to finish the match that evening.
The first major update on Eriksen’s condition came from UEFA: “Following the medical emergency involving Denmark’s player Christian Eriksen, a crisis meeting has taken place with both teams and match officials and further information will be communicated at 19:45 CET.
“The player has been transferred to the hospital and has been stabilised.”
A Danish FA statement then confirmed the game would restart: “Christian Eriksen is awake and his condition remains stable. He remains hospitalized at Rigshospitalet for further examinations.
“The match against Finland will be played tonight. This happens after the players have been confirmed that Christian is okay. The match resumes at 20.30 (7.30pm UK time).”
Denmark – who were finally in the ascendancy in the opening 40 minutes leading up to Eriksen’s collapse – were edged out 1-0 thanks to Joel Pohjanpalo’s second half header.
Should Denmark's match with Finland have been restarted on Saturday evening? Comment below
Unsurprisingly, Kasper Hjulmand’s side were unable to find their level either physically or psychologically after the break – with Pierre-Emile Hoejbjerg thwarted from the penalty spot.
"It was a really tough evening, on which we've all been reminded what the most important things in life are. It's meaningful relationships. It's those people who are close to us. It's family and friends.
Boss Hjulmand said after the game: "Everything, everything, everything – all thoughts are with Christian and his family.
"A group of players that I cannot praise enough.
"First of all, if it gets emotional, it's been a tough night. We are all reminded of what the most important thing in life is – to have valuable relationships, people we're close to, our family and our friends.
"We have a group of players that I cannot praise enough. I couldn't be prouder of those people who took such good care of each other. He is one of my very dear friends, the way the players talked in the dressing room to decide to not do anything before we knew Christian was conscious and OK.
"We had two options to play the game [today] or tomorrow at 12pm and everyone agreed to play today. You can't play a game with such feelings. We tried to win. It was incredible they managed to go out and try to play the second half.
“Honestly, there were players out there that were completely done. Emotionally done and emotionally exhausted.”