“It really breaks football” – Netherlands Manager Ronald Koeman Slams VAR After Controversial England Penalty In EURO 2024 Semi-Final

Netherlands Boss Ronald Koeman
Netherlands Boss Ronald Koeman

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman has accused the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) of ruining soccer after England benefitted from one of its interventions in the second EURO 2024 semi-final. Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk also bemoaned the decision, claiming the Three Lions got a lot of confidence after converting the penalty.

England Benefitted From A Controversial VAR Call In Their Semi-Final Win Over Netherlands

England and the Netherlands went head to head for the second EURO 2024 semi-final at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund on Wednesday, July 10. Holland started on the front foot, with Xavi Simons firing his team into the lead with a sensational strike in the seventh minute.

England, however, did not trail for long, as they won a penalty following a VAR intervention in the 17th minute. Initially, it did not look like a foul, as Denzel Dumfries’ boot clattered against Harry Kane’s after the former attempted to block the latter’s volley. On-field referee Felix Zwayer ignored the appeals for a penalty, but the VAR instructed him to refer to the pitchside monitor to reevaluate his original decision. After a brief review, Zwayer awarded England a spot-kick, which Kane emphatically put away.

In the dying embers of the match, substitute Ollie Watkins scored for the Three Lions to seal a 2-1 win and send them through to the finals.

Ronald Koeman Fumes After Controversial VAR Call

Understandably, Koeman was not happy with the way it turned out for his team, and he blamed VAR for their misfortunes. Discussing the refereeing in the second EURO 2024 semi-final, the former Barcelona manager said (via The Mirror):

In my opinion, it should not have been a penalty. He kicked the ball and the boots touched. I think that we cannot play properly football and this is due to VAR. It really breaks football.”

Van Dijk did not blatantly blame the refereeing, but admitted the penalty changed the flow of the game.

He added:

I think the penalty moment is a big moment, England had some confidence out of it. I think so many decisions didn’t go our way, but I don’t want to speak about the referee.

Having dramatically beaten Holland, England will aim to win their first major trophy on foreign soil when they take on Spain in the EURO 2024 final at the Olympiastadion on July 14.

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