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There are early concerns for England as the semi-final referee has a controversial past and history with Jude Bellingham.

England defeated Switzerland 5-3 on penalties to secure their place in the semi-finals of Euro 2024.

Despite their poor performance in the tournament, the Three Lions found themselves just one step away from reaching the finals.

Gareth Southgate has faced heavy criticism for his tactics, player management, and inability to develop the potential of England’s golden generation. However, his team managed to persevere, preparing for the semi-final against the Netherlands.

The much-anticipated match between England and the Netherlands is scheduled to kick off at 8pm on Wednesday, July 10, at the Westfalenstadion, home of Borussia Dortmund.

Worrying about the referees of the game

However, there may be early concerns for England regarding the refereeing of the match. Felix Zwayer, a controversial referee, will oversee the match.

According to the Daily Mail, Zwayer has a history of match-fixing, having been banned for six months in 2005 for accepting a €300 (£253.82) bribe from fellow referee Robert Hoyzer.

Zwayer’s history with England star Jude Bellingham adds another layer of tension. In 2021, Bellingham, then at Borussia Dortmund, publicly criticized Zwayer after a controversial defeat to Bayern Munich, questioning his credibility on live television.

Bellingham says:

“You can look at many decisions in the game. He gives the referee, who has fixed the game before, the biggest game in Germany. What are you waiting for?”

Following the comments, Bellingham was fined €40,000 (£33,843) and investigated by German police, while Zwayer took a two-month leave of absence.

All eyes are on the manager

With Zwayer set to referee the semi-final, any controversial decisions could spark a huge backlash and questions about his selection in such an important match.

The focus will be on ensuring a fair and transparent game, as England look to beat the Netherlands and progress to the Euro 2024 finals.

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