German referee Felix Zwayer has been appointed to officiate the Euro 2024 semi-final between England and the Netherlands in Dortmund, and is an official which Jude Bellingham has previously clashed with in the same stadium.

In 2021, when Bellingham was at Borussia Dortmund, the England midfielder received a fine of 40,000 euros ($43,320) for comments he made regarding Zwayer following his side’s 3-2 defeat by Bayern Munich.

Dortmund had appeals for a penalty waved away before Bundesliga leaders Bayern scored from the spot to take all three points against their nearest rivals, and Bellingham was furious when he spoke afterwards.

“You can look at a lot of the decisions in the game. You give a referee, that has match-fixed before, the biggest game in Germany. What do you expect?” Bellingham said at the time.

His comments referenced a period in Zwayer’s career which he would have preferred to put behind him.

In 2005, referee Robert Hoyzer was sentenced to two years and five months in prison for his role in a massive match-fixing scandal which rocked German football, and although Zwayer was one of those who reported his suspicions, he too was punished.

Zwayer was given a six-month ban by the German Football Federation (DFB) for accepting 300 euros from Hoyzer for agreeing to make incorrect decisions during a game while he was an assistant referee.

He took a short break after Bellingham’s comments, but since then has refereed the 2023 Nations League final and at Euro 2024 Zwayer has taken charge of three games before the semi-final.

UEFA declined to comment when contacted by Reuters about Zwayer’s appointment for Wednesday’s match.


Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here