Whistle blowing. UEFA appoint ref for Eng-Ned semi who was banned for taking a bribe

July 9 – The referee for England’s semi-final against the Netherlands at Euro 2024 once had ties to a match-fixing scandal in Germany.

Felix Zwayer was served a six-month ban for his role in a case in 2005.

Zwayer also has history with England star Jude Bellingham who received a fine of €40,000 from the German FA for his post-match comments about the same official in 2021 after his then Borussia Dortmund team lost 3-2 to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

After the game, Bellingham, then just 18 years old, told ViaPlay: “You give a referee that has match-fixed before the biggest game in Germany – what do you expect?”

England left-back Luke Shaw told a news conference on Monday that Bellingham’s past with Zwayer will not affect the team on Wednesday night.

“I think we have to respect UEFA on whoever they decide to pick as the ref. That won’t change anything about us, we still focus on the game in hand,” said Shaw.

It is important to point out that Zwayer also refereed the Netherlands’ last-16 victory over Romania plus Italy’s opening match against Albania and Portugal’s win over Turkey in the second round of group matches.

In the corruption case he was involved in, as a young assistant ref, Zwayer was given a six-month ban after he was investigated for taking a €300 bribe from fellow official Robert Hoyzer, who had himself been banned for allegedly being involved in match-fixing, four years before he started refereeing Bundesliga matches.

However the ruling said there was no evidence Zwayer had manipulated a game.