Christian Eriksen will not be allowed to play for Inter Milan again unless the defibrillator installed after his cardiac arrest while on Denmark duty is removed, the Italian Football Association has revealed.
The 29-year-old collapsed during his country’s Euro 2020 opener against Finland on June 12 and required urgent CPR treatment from pitchside medics. Eriksen was brought back to life on the pitch but the remainder his football career remains in doubt.
It was confirmed after his cardiac arrest that Eriksen now has an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) inserted in his chest to regulate any further disturbances in his heartbeat.
Eriksen plays club football for Inter Milan in Italy, a country who bans players at both amateur and professional level from competing if they have any significant heart abnormalities.
And Francesco Braconaro, a member of the Italian FA’s technical scientific committee, revealed the Danish footballer must have the defibrillator removed to play in Italian football again, as it will show he has no further heart problems.
Braconaro told Radio Kiss Kiss: ”Christian Eriksen cannot be given the all-clear to play in Italy.
”If the player has the defibrillator removed, therefore confirming the pathology can be resolved, then he can return to play for Inter.”
During Denmark’s opening Euro 2020 with Finland on June 12, Eriksen went to ground unchallenged mid-way through the match in Copenhagen and received immediate CPR treatment from medical staff.
He was admitted to hospital before the Danish FA confirmed that he was awake and conscious, while his agent Michael Schoots revealed later that evening that he was able to speak and talk whilst receiving more checks. The Denmark players then decided to finish off the match after hearing the news of Eriksen’s recovery.
Eriksen was released from hospital on June 18 after six days of hospital treatment, which saw him being fitted with an ICD, a device connected to the heart by wires and sends an electrical pulse to correct irregular rhythms.
Danish team doctor Morten Boesen said after Eriksen’s release from hospital: ‘This device is necessary after a cardiac attack due to rhythm disturbances.
‘Christian has accepted the solution and the plan has been confirmed by specialists nationally and internationally who all recommend the same treatment.’
The footballer was photographed in public for the first time since his collapse on July 2 as he posed with a young fan at Tisvilde Strand beach in Northern Denmark, while the 29-year-old was offered the chance to attend the Euro 2020 final on July 11 along with the six medics who saved his life.
On the night of Eriksen’s collapse, leading NHS cardiologist Dr Scott Murray claimed Eriksen would unlikely to be able to play for Inter again due to Italy’s strict rules on letting people with heart problems take part in sporting activities.
Dr Murray told the MailOnline: ‘It probably is (the end of his career) for him. The Italians stop people participating in sport if they are found to have a significant cardiac abnormality, it’s in law.
‘They’ve been doing that for a long time, beyond 20 years and they’ve reduced the death rates from cardiac arrests in sport from beyond 3 per cent down to below one per cent.
‘He (Eriksen) comes from an Italian club so he must have had all of the tests before he started (playing for Inter). The Italians are the best at screening for heart disease in competitive athletes.
‘Italy has the greatest pre-participation screening in the world which tries to reduce events, but he still has an event on the pitch. So even if you screen, it can still happen.
‘It’s going to be difficult for him to eliminate, he’s still going to (be) that 0.01 per cent of people who will still have something happen.’
The Danish midfielder has played 60 times for Inter Milan since joining the club from Tottenham Hotspur 18 months ago. The 29-year-old helped the Italian side win their first Serie A title in 11 years last season.
During his time playing in England, Eriksen turned out over 300 times for Spurs in a six-and-a-half year spell in north London.
Professor Sanjay Sharma, who put the former Tottenham midfielder through an annual battery of tests between 2013 and 2020, said Eriksen had no known history of heart problems – but that no tests were ‘foolproof’.