DAILY MAIL 🔵 ITV ref expert clarifies why England’s pen SHOULDN’T have been given – Shango Media
Football-FRONT-ENFootball-URGENT-EN

DAILY MAIL 🔵 ITV ref expert clarifies why England’s pen SHOULDN’T have been given

  • Harry Kane equalised for against the Netherlands after scoring a penalty
  • The decision to give the penalty was controversial and came after a VAR review
  • LISTEN to It’s All Kicking Off! EUROS DAILY: How England are on the cusp of immortality 

Christina Unkel has provided more clarity on England’s contentious penalty against the Netherlands and backed up her stance that it should not have been awarded.

The Three Lions went 1-0 behind after just seven minutes in their Euro 2024 semi-final on Wednesday before Harry Kane equalised from the spot when Denzel Dumfries was adjudged to have fouled the England skipper.

It was a hugely controversial call, with the appeals limited from England’s players after it seemed to be a natural collision as Kane shot, while Dumfries attempted to block the shot.

No penalty was the on-pitch decision but VAR official Bastian Dankert urged referee Felix Zwayer to take a trip to the monitor, with the German official overturning his original shout and giving the penalty.

And Unkel, who is working as a refereeing expert for ITV during the tournament, was unequivocal during the incident that it should not have been a spot kick, with other questions also raised over a potential Bukayo Saka handball in the build-up.

Christina Unkel has provided more clarity on Harry Kane's contentious penalty against the Netherlands and backed up her stance that it should not have been awarded

As Denzel Dumfries went to block Harry Kane's shot, they collided but no penalty was awarded

Referee Felix Zwayer was sent by VAR to review his decision and decided to give the penalty

This led to accusations of a blunder from Unkel after it was given, but on Thursday she doubled down on why it was an unnecessary call by VAR and Zwayer to overturn their original decision.

‘As stated live both before recommendation and during it,’ she began on a thread explaining her stance on X. 

‘The referees NO penalty decision on the field did not reach the line of intervention as a “clear and obvious error” and should not have been recommended for overturn because VAR is for “maximum benefit, minimum interference”. 

‘The threshold that must be reached before a VAR should make a recommendation is COE. 

‘(An) Other way to say COE is does the overall football community (biases removed) expect the decision?

‘The burden is high and to help think that 90 per cent of the football community expects the recommended decision once they see the factual video evidence. 

‘VAR was created to correct the decisions that were missed that are “hand of god” scenarios, missed points of contact that are serious foul play, etc.’

Unkel continued: ‘It is why 9/10 times when a referee goes to monitor they change decision because to send the recommendation it should be reaching such a high threshold. 

‘Errors still can be made which is why referee still has final decision to accept or decline a recommendation.’

‘In this situation: the referees decision on the field (whether given or not) should remain without a VAR recommendation either way. 

‘Each way you argue it – it doesn’t fall into a COE error (as seen through discourse of football community) so should have been check complete.’

In a thread on X, Unkel again explained why it was the wrong decision to give the penalty

To add insult to injury, Netherlands defender Dumfries was subsequently booked by Zwayer

Unkel went onto express her confusion surrounding the decision being overturned, pointing to general guidance surrounding UEFA events.

She added: ‘It was a surprise that it was recommended due to the standards for high line of intervention consistently maintained in UEFA and there are several key considerations for why doesn’t fall into a penalty due to how contact was initiated (follow through) and context.

‘Should this clip alone for the kind of contact and context of the contact be up for debate as to a preferred decision (as one has to have a decision as a referee) the preferred decision is no penalty.

‘Final wrap: Due to it not being a COE error and the plays considerations alone not rising to a preferred decision for penalty, the analysis remains it was an error from procedural and substantive standpoint. 

‘So why, given VAR at time of recommendation determined (it) was (a) reckless tackle (why yellow card also issued because if careless would have only been penalty) he focused on Dumfries’ studs making contact with side/front of Kane’s foot. 

‘But context of that contact should not have been overlooked.’

However, several Dutch players were incandescent with the decision at full-time, with Netherland skipper Virgil van Dijk, who was booked for dissent during the game, hitting out at Zwayer.

‘I don’t know if I should say something about that,’ he told beIN Sports. ‘I said it to the Dutch media. I think it says it all that the referee went in quite quickly after the game.

‘I had no time to shake his hand. But it is what it is, the game is done, we lost, certain moments were obvious that they should have gone our way, but they didn’t, whatever the outcome.

‘It is difficult to accept this. It has been a tough year. We had a big dream and we felt we could have achieved it.’

He continued: ‘They keep changing certain things, small changes that could have a big impact. Maybe it’s a good thing that they could be held accountable as well. 

‘They didn’t come here and speak to you and explain themselves like we have to when we do something wrong.

‘That might be something. But I shouldn’t speak about others and we have to look at ourselves.’

There were also questions over a potential handball by Bukayo Saka in the build-up

Kane was left writhing in pain and said post match that it was definitely the correct decision

Virgil van Dijk was one of several Dutch stars left fuming with referee Felix Zwayer's display

Ronald Koeman was similarly fuming at the decision as he said: ‘What do you do as a defender?

‘This is not a penalty. Dumfries wanted to block the ball. Then the shoes collide. Such VAR decisions destroy football.’

However, Kane disagreed as he said: ‘My foot’s hanging off so he definitely caught me! 

‘Sometimes you get them sometimes you don’t. I was happy to step up and see that go in the back of the net. It was a nice feeling for sure.’

Bouton retour en haut de la page
Fermer