England Vs. Netherlands Referee In Euro 2024 Semifinal Has Past Match-Fixing Suspension

, ,
Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
England vs. Netherlands Euro 2024

The second Euro 2024 semifinals match begins Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET. While this match will determine who will make the Final, one big storyline in this matchup is not a player in the starting 11. The England vs. Netherlands referee is German Felix Zwayer, who was once banned for six months for accepting a bribe and later criticized by English star Jude Bellingham while playing in Germany’s Bundesliga.

England vs. Netherlands Referee Past Bribe Suspension

In 2004, Zwayer was an assistant referee and reportedly took a €300 ($325 USD) bribe from fellow referee Robert Hoyzer. The plot was discovered following a 2005 investigation. Hoyzer tasked Zwayer with fixing a match between Wuppertaler SV and Werder Bremen Amateure in May 2004 in favor of Wuppertaler SV. Wuppertaler SV would go on to win the match 1-0.

Hoyzer, was banned for life and received a 27-month prison sentence. The investigation found Zwayer did accept the money, but there was no evidence of him manipulating the game. He served a six-month suspension, and he was able to return to officiating.

While Zwayer served punishment and still denies any involvement in Hoyzer’s plot, players have not forgotten. England’s Jude Bellingham made remarks about Zwayer’s past following a 2021 loss during his time at Dortmund. The midfielder spoke out against a controversial decision vs. Bayner, where Bayner was awarded a penalty that would win them the game.

“You give a referee that has match-fixed before the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?” asked Bellingham following the loss. Bellingham was fined €40,000 ($43,254 USD) for the comments. With Bellingham representing England, the comments have resurfaced.

Should Zwayer Be Refereeing a Euros Semifinal?

Despite Zwayer’s suspension, he has continued to referee for years following his suspension. There has been no other instance where he was punished after a match-fixing investigation. In fact, Zwayer has already officiated three games during Euro 2024.

Zwayer’s involvement thus far has not affected Euro 2024 odds for England vs. Netherlands.

England Asked About Referee

Luke Shaw of England was asked Monday about the officiating decision to name Zwayer for this matchup. Shaw stated that the team is not focused on the refs.

“We have to respect UEFA on whoever they decide to pick as ref,” said Luke Shaw, England defender. “That won’t change anything for us, we just focus on the game at hand and not focus on the refs we are given.”

While a stain remains on Zwayer’s name, he has not shown himself to be compromised since. UEFA also has complete confidence in Zwayer, viewing him as an elite referee.

Latest Euro 2024 And Copa America News