"They should have shown a little bit of compassion, and they didn't" - Peter Schmeichel
"I found it uncomfortable viewing the match, at times."
Richie Sadlier was not the only one feeling uncomfortable, on Saturday night, as Denmark's players attempted to park the trauma of seeing teammate Christian Eriksen's collapse, only hours before, and try to finish a football match.
The Danes were put in an incredibly tough position, on Saturday, when Uefa informed them they could either play out the final 50 minutes of their Euro 2020 game against Finland that night, or at noon the next day.
The playing squad opted to finish out the game, and many were heartened by a short video message sent by Eriksen to them from his hospital bed in Copenhagen. The Inter Milan star had suffered a cardiac arrest after collapsing to the ground after 40 minutes of the match, and was only saved by the quick reactions of teammate Simon Kjaer and the medical staff on hand.
Speaking on RTE, on Sunday, Sadlier summed up how many football fans would have been thinking as they watched the game play out to an evebtual 1-0 Finland victory. The former Millwall and Ireland forward commented:
"A player missed a penalty, (Kasper) Schmeichel didn't do great for the goal. You're sitting there thinking, 'Is it even right to have an opinion here and analyising these players' performances because we remember the pictures'.
"An hour, an hour and a half earlier, they were hugging Eriksen's partner, they were embracing each other. Some of them were in tears and it was really, really uncomfortable viewing."
Kasper Hjulmand, the Denmark head coach, feels the players were put in a very tricky position by Uefa's dual scenarios for finishing out the game. He told reporters:
"It's very difficult, I know it’s very difficult but, looking back, I think it was a wrong thing - to make the decision between the two scenarios to the players - in this case.
"Maybe we should just have gone on the bus and went home and then let’s see what the next days would have would have brought. But that’s just my feeling now.
“I think it was a very, very tough decision — a tough message that the players had to try to make a decision. So, I know it’s difficult but I have a sense that it was wrong that the players were given this situation."
Over on the BBC, former Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel labelled the Uefa response a 'ridiculous decision'.
"They should have tried to work out a different scenario and shown a little bit of compassion, and they didn’t," declared Schmeichel, who's son Kasper was in goal for the Danes on the night.
Michael Laudrup, another Danish football legend, was another to criticise Uefa. Laudrup suggested that postponing the game until later in the group stages would have made more sense that the rapid-fire scenario the tournament organisers came up with.
As for Hjulmand, he spoke of the pride he had for his players and how they responded to such adversity with the whole footballing world watching.
"I think that football showed the best face," he said. "There’s a lot of talk about commercialising and big money and greed and stuff like that in football and sometimes that is the agenda, but here we see what football is about - team spirit and compassion and love."