TV director in charge of Denmark match defends Eriksen footage

TV director Jean-Jacques Amsellem has defended the controversial footage of Christian Eriksen in the aftermath of the Denmark midfielder’s collapse on Saturday.

Eriksen collapsed on Saturday during Denmark’s opening Euro 2020 match with Finland before being treated on the pitch and taken to hospital.

After it was later confirmed the Inter Milan player was stable, his team-mates reportedly agreed to resume the fixture in Copenhagen – although Peter Schmeichel has claimed that was not the case – with Finland claiming a 1-0 win thanks to Joel Pohjanpalo’s 59th-minute goal.

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His team-mates formed a shield around the 29-year-old while he received treatment and fans from both sets of countries chanted the name of the midfielder.

The camera shots of Eriksen being resuscitated were followed up by images of his distraught wife, causing outrage from supporters on social media.

Gary Lineker apologised for the BBC’s coverage but explained they were using “host pictures and out of our control”.

Amsellem, who was responsible for the global feed, defended his decision to show certain distressing images.

“As you can imagine there is no handbook for these sorts of things,” Amsellem told L’Equipe.

“There was a slow-motion of the scene where we can see him fall really clearly, but I immediately forced my teams not to focus on him, not to film him anymore!

“With more than 30 cameras in the stadium, we could have continued to do so, but at no point did we go and do close shots on him.

“During all that followed, I actually went at one point to the Danes in tears because it was still necessary to show the distress. We also see the emotion of the Finns, that of the fans, but I do not think that we did anything murky.

“Our producer was in conversations with UEFA. The instructions were clear: we were told not to do close-ups, not to film the cardiac massage, but that there was no problem with filming the surrounding emotion.

“If we do a general wide shot, we don’t show the emotion. That could have been for a long time… but we also have to transmit how it felt in the stadium.

“We showed the sadness and distress of the people, on the side of the players, the staff and the fans. We also saw unity in this moment of great anxiety, it had to be transmitted. I wouldn’t call it voyeurism.

“If someone had told me ‘stick with the wide shot’, I would have. But the most important thing, frankly, is that he is ok.”


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