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Soccer-Inter director says Eriksen did not have COVID and was not vaccinated

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Euro 2020 - Group B - Denmark v Finland

(Reuters) -Inter Milan director Giuseppe Marotta dismissed suggestions that club midfielder Christian Eriksen, who collapsed in Denmark's Euro 2020 opener against Finland on Saturday, had previously contracted COVID-19 while the Italian club's doctor said he had shown no previous signs of a health issue.

Eriksen, 29, collapsed in the 42nd minute of the match near the touchline after a Denmark throw-in and was given life-saving cardiac massage treatment on the pitch, with officials later saying the player was stable and awake in hospital.

“In the next few days, he will undergo thorough examinations. The most important thing is that he is well," Inter team doctor Piero Volpi told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“But there has never been an episode that even remotely hinted at a problem, neither when he was at Tottenham nor at Inter. In Italy the checks are very rigorous.”

Sanjay Sharma of St. George's University of London, the playmaker's cardiologist at former club Tottenham Hotspur, also said Eriksen had no prior heart issues during his time with the Premier League side.

However, he told the Mail on Sunday https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-9680381/Christian-Eriksens-former-doctor-Tottenham-claims-miracle-footballer-survived.html that some players may have had sub-clinical COVID-19 infections, which could have resulted in "scarring" of the heart.

Marotta dismissed that suggestion.

"He didn't have COVID and wasn't vaccinated either," he told Rai Sport.

He said Eriksen was under the guidance of the Danish medical staff and it was for them to release information but Inter had been in touch with them.

"I can say the Inter medical staff have been in contact with them from the start."

Sharma said Eriksen had returned normal tests at Spurs since 2013, but the sight of the player falling to the ground had briefly raised concerns that doctors had missed something.

"I thought, 'Oh my God? Is there something there that we didn't see?' But I have looked at all the test results and everything looked perfect," Sharma said.

"From the day we signed him, it was my job to screen him and we tested him every year. So certainly his tests up to 2019 were completely normal, with no obvious underlying cardiac fault. I can vouch for that because I did the tests."

Former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba said that Eriksen's collapse brought back painful memories of his cardiac arrest on the pitch in an FA Cup match in 2012. The ex-England under-21 midfielder had to retire soon after at the age of 24.

"It brought back stuff that I have put down in me, this emotion that's down there. To watch it from that distance and not know what was going to happen," Muamba told the BBC.

"It was scary, but credit to the medical staff. They have done an amazing job on Christian. I like how his team mates got together to protect him.

"I hope things turn out to be okay for him. I hope he'll come through."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard, Robert Birsel and Clare Fallon)

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