The BBC has apologised to viewers over their coverage of Saturday night’s Euros game, during which Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed and was resuscitated on the pitch.
Towards the end of the first half, the midfielder dropped to the ground and received treatment from medics, with his teammates gathering around him to prevent cameras and fans from seeing him.
However, many on social media voiced the opinion that the BBC hesitated for too long in cutting away from UEFA’s live feed, which also included footage of Eriksen’s distressed partner:
In a statement posted on their website, a BBC spokesperson said: “Everyone at the BBC is hoping Christian Eriksen makes a full recovery. We apologise to anyone who was upset by the images broadcast.
“In-stadium coverage is controlled by UEFA as the host broadcaster, and as soon as the match was suspended, we took our coverage off air as quickly as possible.”
After the incident, the BBC’s in-studio presenter Gary Lineker tweeted: “I understand some of you would have been upset with some of the images shown (we were too). Obviously these were the host pictures and out of our control.
“They should have stayed on a wide [shot] of the stadium. Apologies.”
He later added: “In 25 years of doing this job, that was the most difficult, distressing and emotional broadcast I’ve ever been involved with. Thanks to [fellow pundits Cesc Fàbregas, Alex Scott and Micah Richards] for your professionalism, warmth and empathy. Get well soon, Christian Eriksen.”
A UEFA rep confirmed on Saturday night that Eriksen had been taken to hospital and was in a stable condition.
They said: “UEFA wishes Christian Eriksen a full and speedy recovery and wishes to thank both teams for their exemplary attitude.”
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin also said: “Moments like this put everything in life into perspective.
“I wish Christian a full and speedy recovery and pray his family has strength and faith… At these times, the unity of the football family is so strong and he and his family carry with them the good wishes and prayers of everyone.
“I heard of fans of both teams chanting his name. Football is beautiful and Christian plays it beautifully.”