England’s historic semi-final win over Denmark in the Euros has been marred by accusations of cheating.
For the first time in 55 years, England has reached an international men’s final, where they’ll face off against Italy this Sunday, July 11.
They won 2-1 over the Danes, coming back after conceding a whopper of a free kick in the first half and securing the win via a penalty rebound in extra time. However, the foul responsible for the penalty has been questioned by many viewers.
Raheem Sterling was brought down under pressure from Mathias Jensen in the 102nd minute, with VAR confirming the player made contact. Others think the winger was already on his way down on his run, accusing him of diving.
‘Cheating b*stard hasn’t been touched and is already on his way down before Jensen has touched him. Always f*cking cheating,’ one viewer wrote, sharing a clip of the foul. ‘When is cheating acceptable? When its an England player diving. The England media will sweep it under the carpet. That Sterling is a cheat. Sorry Denmark,’ another tweeted.
Former England players Gary Neville and Chris Waddle admitted the penalty decision was ‘dubious’, while former Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann said it was ‘not in the spirit of the game… Did they deserve it? I have to disagree with Liam [Brady],’ as per RTE.
‘They won with a penalty which was a blatant dive and this is not in the spirit of the game. England always prides itself on being the home of fair play and no diving. We all remember what happened when Jurgen Klinsmann came to England and he dived, then they had the celebration with the diving,’ he said.
‘VAR was brought in to rectify these decisions and change blatant mistakes by the referee. This is as blatant a mistake as you will see. This is a European Championship semi-final, I feel sorry for the Danes. I think there’s every chance it would have gone to penalties, and we would have all thought they might have the advantage with [Kasper] Schmeichel in goal,’ Hamann added.
Sterling defended the penalty in his post-match interview. ‘I went into the box and he stabbed his right leg out… as long as it goes into the back of the net, that’s all that matters. I don’t how the incident looked… I assume they checked it and stuck with the referee’s decision,’ he said.
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