Euro 2024: Virgil van Dijk Believes German Referee Felix Zwayer Has Questions To Answer Over England’s Penalty against Netherlands


Virgil Van Dijk was displeased by the decisions made by controversial German referee Felix Zwayer during the Euro 2024 semi-final clash between England and the Netherlands.

Van Dijk shared during a presser after the game that referee Zwayer stormed into the tunnel after the full-time whistle and it indeed leaves much to ponder about.

Certainly, several Dutch supporters were not content with the officiating of Felix Zwayer all through the affair, as his actions looked suspicious on many occasions.

The Comments Of Virgil Van Dijk About German Referee Felix Zwayer

Captain Virgil Van Dijk called officials to be held accountable for their decisions, stressing that it is very difficult to accept a result in that manner.

The 33-year-old said: “I don’t know if I should say something about that. I said it to the Dutch media.” 

He added: “I think it says it all that the referee went in quite quickly after the game. 

“I had no time to shake his hand. But it is what it is, the game is done, we lost, and certain moments were obvious that they should have gone our way, but they didn’t, whatever the outcome.

“It is difficult to accept this. It has been a tough year. We had a big dream and we felt we could have achieved it.”

Van Dijk stated that officials continue to alter certain things that could have a major impact on the outcome of a football game.

Virgil Van Dijk said: “They keep changing certain things, small changes that could have a big impact. Maybe it’s a good thing that they could be held accountable as well. 

“They didn’t come here and speak to you and explain themselves like we have to when we do something wrong.

“That might be something. But I shouldn’t speak about others and we have to look at ourselves.”

The Most Controversial Decision Made By Referee Felix Zwayer During The Game Between England And The Netherlands

The most contentious decision in the 2024 European Championship semi-final affair came in the 17th minute after defender Denzel Dumfries was booked for a foul on Harry Kane inside the penalty box.

Initially, referee Felix Zwayer overlooked the action, opting to remain defiant to the shouts by England for a penalty, however, he was called to the monitor to review it.

Following the examination, he pointed straight to the spot, with the Three Lions handed a penalty that was nicely converted by Harry Kane.

Netherlands Displeased By The Penalty Call Made By Referee Felix Zwayer During The Game Against England

The decision didn’t go down well with the Netherlands, as it appeared Kane had either gone down too early before the supposed foul by Dumfries, or the incident wasn’t worthy of a penalty.

England great, Gary Neville, on punditry duties also termed the decision of the Dutch referee as a “disgrace”.

The former Manchester United man said: “As a defender, I think the penalty was an absolute disgrace.”

Zwayer also paused the game a couple of times, with his calls frowned at by players of the Oranje.

England Vs The Netherlands

Xavi Simons had scored a breathtaking goal seven minutes into the game before the spot-kick equalizer by Harry Kane.

Bukayo Saka thought he had won it for the Three Lions in the 80th minute, as he rifled home the ball following a low cross delivered into the box by Kyle Walker.

Right at the death of the game, substitute Ollie Watkins displayed his brilliance inside the area, turning superbly before smartly firing an effort that beat Dutch goalie Bart Verbruggen and sailed into the bottom corner.

Felix Zwayer’s Match-fixing Scandal?

Zwayer has in the past been found guilty of match-fixing and slammed with a six-month ban in 2005 for receiving a bribe of €300 from another official.

The match-fixing scandal involving Zwayer centered around a Bundesliga second division referee Robert Hoyzer, who took bribes to fix several matches that he officiated.

Zwayer assisted him in an encounter and accepted a bribe to avoid critical scenes for German side Wuppertaler SV.

In January 2005, Felix Zwayer alongside three other high-ranking referees informed the DFB about Hoyzer’s match-fixing, which resulted in his six-month ban.

Who Is Felix Zwayer?

Meanwhile, Feliz Zwayer was born on May 19, 1981, and he is a German football referee who is based in Berlin.

The 43-year-old is a FIFA referee and he is ranked as a UEFA elite category referee. 

Based on Wikipedia, he referees for SC Charlottenburg of the Berlin Football Association.

In April 2018, Zwayer was picked by FIFA as one of the video assistant referees for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the first FIFA World Cup to use the technology.

Felix Zwayer started officiating on the DFB level in 2004, before being promoted to officiate in the 2. Bundesliga in 2007, which also saw him receive the chance to act in the capacity of an assistant referee in the Bundesliga. 

Two years later, the German referee was promoted to handle Bundesliga matches for the 2009/10 season.

Zwayer has been listed as a FIFA referee since 2012 and has received a mix-match of appraisals for his decisions.

Virgil Van Dijk Incensed By Referee Felix Zwayer Handing England A Penalty

Felix Zwayer took charge of the 2023 UEFA Nations League Final between Croatia and Spain on June 18, 2023.

How Does Felix Zwayer Prepare For Matches?

Zwayer’s preparation for games involves listening to music in the dressing room and heading to the stadium the day before a match.

Felix Zwayer’s Family

Felix Zwayer is also married and he has two daughters, who he loves to spend ample time with, having revealed this during an interview with UEFA.

More About Zwayer

The German referee is a lover of all sports, a keen badminton player, and an avid cook. Zwayer is also a big music fan and, particularly, open-air concerts.


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