News

England’s Euro 2024 semi-final referee was banned for match-fixing and has history with Jude Bellingham


Euro 2024 referee Felix Zwayer and England star Jude Bellingham

Euro 2024 referee Felix Zwayer and England star Jude Bellingham (Pictures: Getty)

The referee taking charge of England’s Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands was once banned for match-fixing and has history with Three Lions star Jude Bellingham.

UEFA confirmed on Monday that Felix Zwayer would be in charge of Wednesday’s clash in Dortmund, assisted by his compatriots Stefan Lupp and Marco Achmuller as part of an all-German officiating team.

England meet the Netherlands for a place in Sunday’s final after Gareth Southgate’s side beat Switzerland on penalties in the quarter-finals, while the Dutch came from behind to knock out Turkey.

Zwayer, 43, was banned from officiating for six months back in 2005 after being found to have accepted a £250 bribe from fellow referee Robert Hoyzer.

German newspaper Zeit broke the story years later and also found that Zwayer failed to report the incident, though he later contributed to the investigation and was not found to have made any intentional errors during the game in question.

But England star Bellingham used the historic match-fixing offence as a stick to beat Zwayer with after a huge top-of-the-table Bundesliga clash between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in December 2021.

Bellingham, now at Real Madrid, was furious that Bayern Munich were awarded a penalty during the 3-2 defeat as Mats Hummels was ruled to have handled in the box.

I am not sure what UEFA are thinking by putting Zwayer at the England-game.
Back in 2021 Bellingham told me this after the game.
And was fined €40,000 by German football officials@ViaplayFotball https://t.co/g9g60Yu4iq

— Jan Aage Fjørtoft 🇳🇴 (@JanAageFjortoft) July 8, 2024

‘You can look at a lot of the decisions in the game,’ an 18-year-old Bellingham said in a post-match TV interview.

‘You give a referee, that has match-fixed before, the biggest game in Germany. What do you expect?’ 

Bellingham was subsequently fined €40,000 (£33,843) and even investigated by German police, while Zwayer took a two-month break from officiating.

But Dortmund supported Bellingham, with sporting director Michael Zorc saying: ‘It was a very emotional situation, he was very disappointed and only named known facts.’  

The German has handed out 13 yellow cards in three Euro 2024 games (Picture: Getty)

The club’s executive Hans-Joachim Watzke added: ‘To be clear, Jude was not spreading lies, but what happened in the past.  

‘This statement shouldn’t have been, but I don’t see anything untrue there. I don’t expect that to have any consequences for Jude.’ 

Former Norway striker-turned-reporter Jan Age Fjortoft, who conducted the interview with Bellingham, said on the referee’s semi-final appointment: ‘I am not sure what UEFA are thinking by putting Zwayer on the England game.’

Zwayer has officiated three matches so far at Euro 2024, handing out 13 yellow cards.

Any bookings players have received up until this point are reset ahead of the semi-final fixtures, while Marc Guehi is available to England once more after missing the Switzerland game through suspension.

England are bidding to win their first major trophy in men’s football …read more

Source:: Metro

      

(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *