Lee Dixon and Ally McCoist baffled by England penalty decision in Euro 2024 semi-final with Netherlands

Denzel Dumfries was booked for a foul on Harry Kane inside the penalty area (Picture: Getty)

ITV’s co-commentators Lee Dixon and Ally McCoist were left stunned by the decision to award England a penalty in a dramatic opening to this evening’s Euro 2024 final against the Netherlands.

The contest started at a lightning pace and the Netherlands took the lead after only seven minutes as Xavi Simons burst the back of the net with a thunderous 25-yard rocket past Jordan Pickford.

But the Three Lions fought back and equalised just 11 minutes later as captain Harry Kane converted from the spot to score his third goal of this summer’s tournament.

It’s fair to say the decision has divided fans and pundits, with Felix Zwayer – a controversial appointment for the match – pointing to the spot following a VAR intervention for a foul on the England skipper by Denzel Dumfries.

While replays appeared to show Kane following through and connecting with the bottom of Dumfries’ right boot, the Dutch defender was shown a yellow card and Gareth Southgate’s men were handed a spot-kick following a brief check.

On the back of England’s brilliant penalty-shootout performance against Switzerland, Kane stepped up and beat Bart Verbruggen from 12 yards to draw level – but ITV’s commentary team could not believe their eyes when watching back the incident.

‘I would be astonished if this was given,’ ex-Arsenal and England full-back Dixon said on first viewing.

After the penalty was given, Dixon added: ‘Well I’m pleased, don’t get me wrong!

‘But from a defenders’ point of view, you’ve got to challenge for the ball there. They’re both going for the ball, it’s a split second.

‘I don’t think that’s a penalty but I don’t care! I really don’t care.’

Kane made no mistake from the spot to equalise (Picture: Getty)

Former Scotland and Rangers striker McCoist, meanwhile, suggested VAR should not have intervened given it was not a ‘clear and obvious error’ from Dumfries.

‘I’ll give you my tuppence worth right now,’ McCoist said.

‘The fact of the matter is that the defender is going to block the ball and, in truth, Harry Kane has kicked him because he’s followed through and he has to take the shot on.

‘It’s not a penalty for me but as soon as the referee goes over… I certainly don’t think for a minute that it’s a clear and obvious error.’

Christina Unkel, working as a refereeing analyst for ITV in Germany, was also taken aback by the decision to go to VAR for the 18th-minute penalty incident.

Asked whether there was any suggestion of a foul on first viewing, she replied: ‘No. No suggestion by the VAR for recommendation of a penalty.

‘Once Kane gets the shot off and it’s clear and natural… we’ll take a lot to see if Dumfries’ action goes above and beyond.’

Unkel added: ‘One of the surprising things here is is there a studs contact? Yes, from Dumfries on to the top of the boot from Kane.

‘However, Kane is getting the shot off completely his momentum is following him through.

‘I’m quite surprised this is being sent. It’s not a clear and obvious error and in fact the preferred recommendation is for this not to be a penalty.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow by Email