Euro 2020: Day 28
It was a case of the morning after the night before, as the day after England triumphantly reached their first International tournament final since that famous victory back in 1996, also on home turf, the fallout from the victory began in earnest. The debate as to whether the penalty should have been awarded or not, and whether VAR should then have overturned the decision, is one that will rage on and probably never be settled. There is a common theme nowadays that when players go down “easily” they are cheating, which in some cases is no doubt true. But in the same manner, players can go down easily when moving at speed for example, as was the case here. Looking at the penalty in real time and slow motion is effectively looking at two different incidents almost, such is the dramatic shift of opinion and perspective once it is slowed down.
Parking that to one side, however, there was then the fact that somebody within the crowd had opted to shine a laser directly at Kasper Schmeichel as he prepared to face the penalty from England skipper Harry Kane. The Leicester goalkeeper would ultimately save the penalty before being beaten on the rebound by Kane, who was quickest to react and fire home with the keeper still recovering. However, there are likely to be recriminations for England & the FA around the incident, one of those strange occasions whereby there can be no direct proof of who committed the offence (unless they were to come forward) but the home side suffer as a result of failing to control the crowd.
There were also two balls on the pitch, a further complication that adds to the genuine feeling that Denmark have been hard done by, one that is being repeated vociferously by those who wanted England to fail. However, my view remains England would have gone on to win regardless, as they were the only team looking to grab a second goal, with Denmark, who in their defence looked exhausted, seemed intent to simply stop England and play for penalties, until they conceded at which point they switched things up looking for a way back into the game.
England will now hope to achieve something they have never done before in winning the European Championship on Sunday, where many are now pushing for a further increase in attendance to be permitted for the momentous occassion. The referee, also announced yesterday, will be 48 year old Björn Kuipers from the Netherlands, who coincidentally was also the referee when the two sides met back in 2014 in the World Cup, Italy victorious on that occassion.
The Dutchman was also the referee as Denmark overcame the Czech Republic in the last round, showing 2 cards on that occassion, although he showed 4 cards in both his previous games in the tournament, as Belgium beat Denmark and as Spain thrashed Slovakia, the final being his fourth appearance of the competition. He also took charge of the Champions’ League semi-final between Manchester City and PSG, where he dismissed Angel Di Maria, leading to accusations he also swore at the PSG players.Share this: