Revealed: England's semi-final referee took bribes and was called out as a 'match-fixer' by Jude Bellingham - but is still eligible to ref at Euro 2024 after taking two months off after the row

Revealed: England's semi-final referee took bribes and was called out as a 'match-fixer' by Jude Bellingham - but is still eligible to ref at Euro 2024 after taking two months off after the row
By: dailymail Posted On: July 08, 2024 View: 80

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  • Zwayer served a six-month ban for his involvement with match-fixing in 2005
  • Wednesday's clash will be the fourth game he has taken charge of at Euro 2024 

Jude Bellingham will come face-to-face with referee Felix Zwayer, who he launched an extraordinary attack on by bringing up his involvement in a match-fixing scandal, when he takes charge of England's Euro 2024 semi-final on Wednesday night. 

The Three Lions face the Netherlands in Dortmund for a place in Sunday's final. The fixture will be officiated by the German referee Zwayer, who has taken charge of three games in the competition, including the Netherlands last 16 win over Romania. 

However, attention has been drawn to statements made by Bellingham during his time in Germany when he brought up the official's past involvement in a match-fixing scandal following Borussia Dortmund's 3-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in 2021. 

Dortmund players that day were furious with the referee over a number of decisions during the derby match, in particular a penalty which was awarded after Mats Hummels appeared to handle in the area when the scores were level at 2-2. 

'Well for me it wasn't (a penalty) you know.'Bellingham told Viaplay Football after the match. 'He (Hummels) is not even looking at the ball and he's fighting to get it.

German referee Felix Zwayer will take charge of England's Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands
The official has history with England star Jude Bellingham from his time in Germany with Borussia Dortmund
The then-18-year-old Bellingham hit out at Zwayer after Dortmund's loss to Bayern Munich

'It hits him and I don't even think he's looking at the ball but you know you can look at a lot of the decisions in the game.

'You give a referee that has match-fixed before, the biggest game in Germany what do you expect?'  

Zwayer had served a six-month ban for his involvement which included accepting a €300 bribe from fellow referee Robert Hoyzer. Bellingham was investigated by German police after a criminal complaint was filed over his comments and subsequently hit with a £34,000 fine. 

Zwayer took a two-month break from officiating in December 2021 following Bellingham's comments. 

Eyebrows have been raised over UEFA's decision to appoint the 43-year-old as the referee for Wednesday night's clash given his history with the England star. Norwegian journalist Jan Aage Fjortoft, who conducted the interview, raised concerns following the announcement.

'I am not sure what UEFA are thinking by putting Zwayer at the England-game.' He wrote on X. 'Back in 2021 Bellingham told me this after the game. And was fined €40,000 by German football officials.'

Zwayer has gone on to referee a number of high-profile games, including the final of the UEFA Nations League between Spain and Croatia last year. 

Norwegian journalist Jan Aage Fjortoft raised questions about the selection of Zwayer, given his history with Bellingham

At the Westfalenstadion, he will be assisted by Stefan Lupp and Marco Achmuller, with Daniel Siebert the fourth official and Bastian Dankert as video assistant referee (VAR).

The winners of the tie will face either France or Spain in the final at the Olympiastadion on July 14.  

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