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EM 2024: England fears German referee Felix Zwayer

EM 2024: England fears German referee Felix Zwayer
EM 2024: England fears German referee Felix Zwayer

Referee Felix Zwayer will referee the semi-final of the 2024 European Championship between the Netherlands and England. The appointment sparks excitement on the island because it has a history from the Bundesliga.

It is an explosive encounter: German referee Felix Zwayer will referee the second semi-final between England and the Netherlands in Dortmund. The referee election has caused quite a stir on the island. The tabloid newspaper “The Sun” described the appointment as a “nightmare”.

The English team, on the other hand, is trying to calm things down. National player Luke Shaw said that the decision would not affect the team’s attitude in the game. The schedule must be respected, he said. Coach Gareth Southgate calmed things down: “I’m not worried about who the referee will be. He will referee at a very high level,” said the 53-year-old national coach.

Euro 2024: Criticism of referee appointments for England vs. Netherlands

The reason for the excitement goes back two and a half years, when national player and superstar Jude Bellingham was still playing for Borussia Dortmund. After a match against Bayern Munich, Bellingham complained massively about Zwayer, who had made several wrong decisions in the match, and indirectly accused him of bribery. “You give the biggest game in Germany to a referee who has already been involved in match-fixing. What do you expect?” Bellingham said.

The English professional was referring to the Hoyzer scandal 19 years ago, in which Zwayer was indirectly involved. The young referee had known about the corruption of his colleague Robert Hoyzer, but had not reported it, and was subsequently banned by the DFB for several months. Zwayer was one of the key witnesses in the case. Bellingham was fined 40,000 euros for his testimony.

For Felix Zwayer, Bellingham’s statements had consequences

But the story was not over: Zwayer subsequently took a break of several weeks because he had been subjected to massive hostility following Bellingham’s statements. The referee had spoken at the time of “very stressful events and moments” for his family and reported a death threat.

For Zwayer, the semi-final is the fourth match in this tournament that he has been allowed to referee. So far, the Berlin native has shown solid performances. He made a serious error in the round of 16 match between Romania and the Netherlands (0:3), when he whistled off an attack by the underdog with the score at 0:1 in the final phase after he had fallen for a dive by Dutch player Denzel Dumfries. If Zwayer were to make such a mistake in the semi-final, the discussion about him would certainly become even louder. UEFA has defended its decision and is supporting its referee.

Source: Stern

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