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08th Jul 2024

Referee involved in match fixing scandal appointed for England vs Netherlands

SportsJOE

Jude Bellingham was once fined for comments made about him

The referee who will take charge of England’s semi-final clash against the Netherlands has previously been convicted for match fixing.

Felix Zwayer, was banned for six months after being found to have accepted a €300 bribe from fellow referee Robert Hoyzer in a 2005 scandal.

Jude Bellingham has previous with Zwayer after comments the England star made after a Borussia Dortmund 3-2 loss to Bayern Munich in 2021 featuring multiple contentious decisions.

After the game three years ago, Bellingham said: “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?”

The England midfielder received a £33,843 fine for the comments which even led to the player being investigated by German police.

Zwayer, 43, subsequently took a two-month break from officiating.

An investigation led to ring leader Robert Hoyzer sentenced to two years and five months in prison while Zwayer’s got off with a ban, being deemed to have acted in a ‘grossly anti-sporting’ manner.

A criminal judge in Munich, Rainer Koch, concluded that although guilty of taking bribes, Zwayer had aided in the investigation and did not make intentional errors during the probe.

Many people have reacted strongly to this decision, notably Jan Aage Fjørtoft who interviewed Jude Bellingham after the aforementioned Dortmund match.

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

Zwayer will officiate England’s semi-final showdown with the Netherlands on Wednesday at 8pm.

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