Dutch pundits demand ref is ‘blacklisted’, slam ‘screaming and rolling’ Kane and blast Netherlands player

Matt Stead
England striker Harry Kane appeals for a penalty against the Netherlands
Harry Kane has been slammed by a fellow former Spurs hero

Dutch pundits and journalists did not take their European Championship semi-final defeat to England well, blasting Harry Kane, Xavi Simons and Felix Zwayer.

The Netherlands took the lead in their Euro 2024 semi-final through Simons but were soon pegged back by a Kane penalty, then hearts were broken by Ollie Watkins when the Aston Villa striker scored a sublime winner in the 90th minute.

Ronald Koeman’s side hit the woodwork through Denzel Dumfries in the first half and had seven shots to England‘s nine in a relatively even game.

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But Rafael van der Vaart, perhaps the world’s biggest hater, slammed England as a “sh*t team” who “slowly” but surely “didn’t want to do anything anymore” while on duty for Dutch broadcaster NOS.

“They have such top players on the field. We didn’t do much either. We had a few chances. There could have been so much more in it,” he said.

Fellow pundit and former Dutch international Pierre van Hooijdonk focused on the performance of referee Felix Zwayer, who was also blasted by manager Ronald Koeman and captain Virgil van Dijk.

“They can thank Felix Zwayer,” he said. “He really needs to be blacklisted. Terrible. Also in the second half. A duel with Cody Gakpo where he also blew his whistle, ten meters from the linesman. Those are moments that were crucial in this match.”

Van Hooijdonk was particularly frustrated by the award of a first-half penalty for England after Denzel Dumfries was controversially adjudged to have fouled Kane.

Even English pundits deemed it harsh, with Gary Neville calling the decision “disgraceful”.

A new reason has even emerged for the penalty not to have been given, involving Bukayo Saka.

“We can talk about it at length, but if you’re going to award a penalty for this, you could end up with eight of them on the spot in the final. Really terrible,” Van Hooijdonk said.

“It has no influence on the action. Who is kicking who? In your kick you automatically swing through. He feels that he is being hit. With the VAR you stay down, because who knows.”

Van der Vaart then chimed in again, questioning Kane for “screaming and rolling” around in the area. The England captain said his “foot was hanging off so he definitely caught me” but neither agreed nor disagreed with the referee’s call, simply saying: “Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t.”

No-one was spared from the anger of the Dutch after the game, with even goalscorer Simons being targeted by journalists.

Mike Verweij, writer for De Telegraaf, advised Simons to “talk to Memphis Depay” after he decided not to talk to the press after the defeat.

‘Depay also had a difficult relationship with the press in the beginning and always felt aggrieved. Tonight, Xavi Simons was that same aggrieved toddler.

‘He wanted to talk to everyone in the mixed zone, except the Dutch press. Apparently something was said about him on TV once. When he walked away, the press officer said again that the Dutch press also wanted to talk to him, but they ‘destroyed’ him. I don’t know who.’

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