Ex-FIFA referee reveals new reason England penalty shouldn’t have stood as fresh footage emerges

Will Ford
Dumfries Kane England Netherlands
England were awarded a penalty for Denzel Dumfries' challenge on Harry Kane.

A former FIFA referee says England should not have been awarded a penalty for Denzel Dumfries’ challenge on Harry Kane having seen fresh footage missed by VAR.

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 Three Lions dominated the first half and were the better team across the game as a whole, but the penalty was a point of controversy, and led Gary Neville and Ian Wright to clash in the ITV studio.

Referee Felix Zwayer didn’t award the spot kick on field but changed his decision having been advised to look at the pitchside monitor after Denzel Dumfries caught Kane as he attempted to block the striker’s shot.

‘It is a clear hand’

But former FIFA referee Jonas Eriksson says an infringement was missed moments before that which should have ruled the penalty out.

Eriksson, who officiated at the 2014 World Cup and Liverpool’s Europa League final in 2016, pointed out that England winger Bukayo Saka handled the ball into Kane’s path for his shot on goal.

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

“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.”

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‘That says a lot’

Virgil van Dijk, who was booked in the second-half for dissent after the referee failed to award the Netherlands a corner, took aim at Zwayer, claiming what the official did after the final whistle was telling.

“The referee ran back inside straight after the full-time whistle, that says a lot,” Van Dijk said.

“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.”