Home Sports ‘It’s a disgrace’ – Pundits amazed by England’s controversial penalty against Netherlands

‘It’s a disgrace’ – Pundits amazed by England’s controversial penalty against Netherlands

0 comment
Harry Kane being challenged by Denzel Dumfries

The VAR suggested that referee Felix Zwayer review the foul again – Shutterstock/RONALD WITTEK

England was granted a fortunate route back to their Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands when in the 14th minute they were awarded a controversial penalty that was converted by Harry Kane.

After the Netherlands took the lead through Xavi Simons early in the match, England quickly responded from the penalty spot, but the Dutch players were furious.

Kane prepared to shoot and his effort went over the bar, but after a VAR review, referee Felix Zwayer pointed to the penalty spot, much to the consternation of many on and off the pitch. The VAR for the clash was Bastian Dankert, who recommended that Zwayer look at the pitchside monitor after reviewing the incident.

Ollie Watkins’ stunning 90th-minute goal sealed a historic first major final on foreign soil for England but, after the final whistle, the Dutch were still fuming about the penalty.

Virgil van Dijk commented: “The referee came back in straight after the final whistle, that says a lot.”

Kane said: “My foot was hanging down so it definitely caught me. Sometimes you catch them, sometimes you don’t. I was happy to step up and see the ball go into the back of the net. It was a nice feeling, for sure.”

“I don’t think it’s a penalty but I don’t care”

Speaking on Telegraph Sport’s live coverage, columnist Jamie Carragher said it was “never a penalty”, while ITV co-commentator Lee Dixon said: “I’m happy, don’t get me wrong, but you have to fight for the ball. I don’t think it’s a penalty, but I don’t care.”

Gary Neville and Ian Wright were involved in a heated argument in the ITV studio at half-time as they disagreed with the decision.

Neville said: “As a defender, I think it’s a disgrace that they would ask for that penalty at any time, but in a semi-final. It’s not even close to a penalty and not many English players claimed it. You have to put your life on the line.”

Wright replied: “That’s reckless. His cleats are up. They’ve done it anywhere else on the pitch and it’s a foul.”

But Neville replied: “Does anyone think that’s reckless? Honestly, that’s not a penalty. There has to be a licence to try and block the shot.”

Former England captain Alan Shearer, speaking to BBC 5 Live, said: “The England players are looking at the referee and they think there is a collision. Denzel Dumfries does connect with Harry Kane. There was no contact with the ball by Dumfries.”

Michael Owen, who controversially gave away a penalty at the 2002 World Cup against Argentina that David Beckham converted, said England had “been lucky” with the spot-kick.

He Zwayer’s appointment was controversial because he was involved in a match-fixing scandal early in his career.

In 2006, Zwayer admitted to receiving money from suspended referee Robert Hoyzer, who was accused of match-fixing, but not of altering the result of a match. Zwayer was suspended for six months by the DFB after being one of the referees who exposed Hoyzer’s match-fixing plot.

‘The VAR was wrong to intervene’

The VAR was wrong to intervene. The referee, from a good position, was right in judging the result. There was no foul and, therefore, no penalty should have been awarded.

This was not a clear and obvious error and unfortunately we see once again the intervention of the VAR and the referee not complying with his original decision.

The referee was in an ideal position. The VAR should not have intervened.

Starmer and his Dutch counterpart watch the NATO meeting

At a NATO summit in Washington, Prime Minister Kier Starmer watched the penalty alongside his Dutch counterpart Dick Schoof. The two shook hands despite the controversy surrounding the match between their teams.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.

You may also like