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PA Media/DPA


A German referee who was banned over his part in a match-fixing scandal and who has a history with Jude Bellingham will take charge of England’s Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands on Wednesday.

Felix Zwayer, 43, was given a six-month ban by his country’s football federation in 2006, having worked as an assistant referee alongside Robert Hoyzer.

Zwayer was one of the officials who brought Hoyzer’s match-fixing plot to light, with the relatively short duration of Zwayer’s ban a recognition of that contribution. Hoyzer was banned for life.

England midfielder Bellingham was fined by the German federation after he referenced Zwayer’s involvement in that scandal after a 3-2 defeat for his old club Borussia Dortmund against Bayern Munich in 2021.

Bellingham hit out at the performance of Zwayer after he turned down Dortmund’s appeals for a penalty, but awarded Bayern one for a Mats Hummels handball.

“You give a referee that has match fixed before the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?” Bellingham said back then.

Zwayer will lead an all-German officiating team at Wednesday’s match in Dortmund which also includes his assistants Stefan Lupp and Marco Achmuller, plus VAR Bastian Dankert.

The Football Association has declined to comment on the matter, while tournament organisers UEFA have been approached for comment.

England defender Luke Shaw was asked whether the team were uncomfortable about Zwayer’s appointment at a press conference on Monday.

“No, not at all. We have to respect UEFA in whoever they decide to pick as the ref. That won’t change anything about us,” he said.

“We still just focus on the game in hand, not too much about what refs we’ve been given or this and that. For us, it won’t make any difference.”

Asked if he had ever played in a game where he felt the referee was against his team, Shaw replied: “No, not really. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, you get angry in games and you might think that, but no.

“Whatever ref has been picked, has been picked. We just have to be ready and not focus on that.” It will be the second time Zwayer has overseen a match involving the Dutch, having also refereed their last-16 victory over Romania.

Before that Zwayer took charge of Italy’s opening match against Albania and Portugal’s win over Turkey in the second round of group matches.

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