England-Netherlands ref served match-fixing ban

UEFA have appointed a referee previously convicted of match-fixing and whose integrity was publicly questioned by Jude Bellingham for England’s Euro 2024 semifinal against the Netherlands.

Felix Zwayer will officiate Wednesday’s clash in Dortmund despite being banned for six months in 2005 after taking a €300 ($325) bribe from another official named Robert Hoyzer.

Back in 2005, an investigation found Zwayer guilty of accepting a bribe before SV Wuppertal and Werder Bremen Amateure in May 2004 to favour Wuppertaler in his decision-making.

Bellingham referred back to that incident in 2021 in a post-match interview after Borussia Dortmund lost 3-2 to Bayern Munich in a huge Bundesliga game.

The England midfielder, who played for Dortmund at the time, 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?”

Bellingham was subsequently fined €40,000 for his comments which came after Dortmund were denied a penalty at one end and conceded one at the other.

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke added at the time: “To be clear, Jude was not spreading lies, but what happened in the past. This statement shouldn’t have been, but I don’t see anything untrue there. I don’t expect that to have any consequences for Jude.”

The FA declined to comment on Zwayer’s appointment when contacted by ESPN.

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