Dumfries opposes Van Dijk, Koeman and reality with England penalty stance

Will Ford
Dumfries Netherlands
Denzel Dumfries reckons the referee was right to give England the penalty.

Denzel Dumfries has gone against his manager, captain and a former FIFA referee having admitted Feliz Zwayer was right to give a penalty for his challenge on Harry Kane in the Netherlands’ defeat to England in the Euro 2024 semi-final.

Ollie Watkins scored a stunning late goal to see Gareth Southgate’s side into the final against Spain after Harry Kane’s penalty cancelled out Xavi Simons’ early opener.

The penalty was a point of controversy, which led Gary Neville and Ian Wright to clash in the ITV studio, manager Ronald Koeman to claim it’s the sort of decision that “destroys football”, while Virgil van Dijk also believed it shouldn’t have been given.

Referee Felix Zwayer changed his decision having looked at the pitchside monitor after Dumfries caught Kane as he attempted to block the England star’s shot.

‘I take full responsibility’

And the Inter Milan full-back confessed that the minute he knew the penalty would be awarded the moment Zwayer went to look at the screen.

He said: “I want to block the shot. I barely touch him. I do think [it’s a VAR penalty]. You know when he goes to the sideline, he can give it. I take full responsibility”.

Dumfries made the comments in a post-match press conference, at which point he presumably hadn’t seen the footage which showed Bukayo Saka handling the ball into Kane’s path before the shot.

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‘No penalty’

And former FIFA referee Jonas Eriksson says the penalty should not have been given for that reason.

He said: “Here, I am surprised that they don’t go and look and overturn the penalty.

“According to the rulebook, it is a penalty. In reality, when you have to interpret it, I don’t think it should be a punishment.

“It is a clear hand [from Saka] and it means that no penalty should be awarded to Kane.”