DENMARK coach Kasper Hjulmand has blamed the One Love armband controversy and the human rights issues affecting his side for their tame World Cup exit.
The Danes were among the European sides forced to back down from wearing the armband as Fifa threatened yellow cards and bans for skipper Simon Kjaer.
Shirt manufacturers Hummel introduced a special Qatar 2022 kit with a faded logo, while sponsors asked for their branding to be taken off training kits and advertising hoardings.
And while Hjulmand insisted it was “not an excuse” for his side’s disappointing campaign, he suggested it had adversely impacted the entire squad.
Hjulmand said: “In relation to whether it has affected us, it would be strange to believe otherwise, at least to some extent.
“Whether it has meant anything on the pitch, I can’t say.
“But there has been a feeling that it has been unreasonable.”
Defending his players, who have come under intense flak after going home with just one point from their dull opening draw with Tunisia, he added: “A picture has been drawn that whatever the hell they did, it was wrong.
“There was a demand from half of you in the media that the players should be activists.
“So there has been a sense of ‘what are we going to do?’
“It is difficult to say what this has meant for the performances. It’s not an excuse, but it’s wrong to say it hasn’t had an impact.”
Eriksen’s return to the major stage was a huge part of the build-up but the Manchester United schemer was as underwhelming as the rest of his team-mates.
Hjulmand conceded: “There is no doubt that the team has been affected.
“There are many ingredients in that pot.
“But we have seen a lack of power, coherence and energy.
“It is worth having a good look at. But many things were missing.
“It’s not an excuse, but sometimes it can be the little things and the margins that make the difference.
“During the Euros, the players felt 100 per cent supported, and that, I think, helps, if you feel that you have people behind you.
“And during the Euros we were helped by a lot of things.”