Everyone on the field, in the stands, as well as millions of TV viewers around the globe knew immediately that something was seriously wrong. Eriksen hadn’t been brought down in a tackle – in fact, there was no one within touching distance of him when he just keeled over and fell face down. They desperately summoned for medical attention.
The game was immediately stopped by referee Anthony Taylor. Doctors rushed to the spot. CPR was given as his fellow teammates formed a protective shield around Eriksen, the backbone of Denmark’s midfield for over a decade and a familiar figure especially for Premier League fans in India.
The next 15 minutes were some of the most agonizing ever in a globally televised sporting event in recent decades.
Nobody seemed to understand what exactly had gone wrong. Everyone looked horrified and helpless at the same time. In the most wretched of years when a pandemic continues to sweep over the globe, many spectators seemed to fear the worst and started crying in the stands.
Some leaned on each other trying to gain solace as the player was taken to the hospital. Eriksen’s disconsolate girlfriend Sabrina Kvist Jensen, wearing an Eriksen Tshirt, was comforted by a couple of players. The gloomy global mood was best reflected by one of the trending hashtags, Please God. Thousands of prayers were posted as tweets.
Soon photographs started emerging on social media showing the footballer, eyes open, holding his head.
But it was only when Danish football association posted a tweet saying, “Christian Eriksen is awake and is undergoing further examinations at Rigshospitalet,” that many felt their nerves calmed, if not entirely restored. The prayers of millions seemed to have been answered. About two hours later, the game resumed.