The Ernst-Happel Stadion, historic lair of the Austrian selection, showed its limits on Monday when they received Denmark (1-2). While the France team will go there on Friday June 10, the state of the stadium built in 1931 and renovated in 2005 has angered Danish players. Evidenced by a large and improbable hole in the middle of the lawn.
If from a sporting point of view, Monday’s Nations League evening in Vienna was marked by the good operation of Denmark (victorious 2-1) which took a five-point lead over the Blues, held in check by the Croatia, it was also marked by the incidents that marred the match against Austria at the Ernst-Happel Stadion.
While Christian Eriksen and his teammates had won 2-1 against Ralf Rangnick’s Austria, the players of the “Danish Dynamite” saw a gaping hole appear at the level of the central circle. “There was a hole that was probably half a meter deep. It was in the middle of the field, and it’s damn dangerous if someone falls in it. You can break your leg, annoyed Andreas Skov Olsen for TV2 Sports. It’s a shame and I’m sure they are aware that we have to do better. It could have ruined a career today, but luckily it didn’t happen.”
In a press conference, Danish coach Kasper Hjulmand also launched his four truths about the Viennese stadium: “The pitch is really, really miserable. I’m sitting here with a picture of a huge hole in the middle of the pitch which was “directly dangerous for the players. It’s heavy and full of holes. That hole was absolutely horrible. It’s a very bad football pitch.”
But before this mysterious collapse of the ground after the meeting, the stadium had already acted up. A power outage in Vienna delayed the kick-off of the match, originally scheduled for 8:45 p.m., by an hour and a half. The public who had already taken place in the Austrian lair took their troubles patiently by doing the “ola” with the flash of their phones. This delay was much less amused by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, scorer on Monday, who described the stadium as an “amateur stadium.”
Ironically, the next match of the French team against Austria will be held in this Ernst-Happel Stadion on June 10th. If by then, the gardeners have time to patch up the Austrian lawn, the Austrian federation has already taken the lead in explaining that the hole was linked to the recent rains which fell on the Austrian capital.