Categories crunchfx

Dutchman Ronald Koeman claims football is ‘destroyed’ after controversial Euro 2024 VAR decision

Dutch coach Ronald Koeman was left furious over a controversial penalty in the first half of his team’s 2-1 defeat to England in the 2024 European Championship semi-finals, saying the video assistant referee (VAR) system was “ruining” football.

The equalizer in the 18th minute of the match infuriated the coach, and Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries was awarded a penalty after a VAR review.

Dumfries recovered the ball after England’s Harry Kane sent his shot over the crossbar, following a tackle by Kane.

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman reacts during the UEFA EURO 2024 semi-final match between Netherlands and England at the Dortmund Stadium in Dortmund, Germany on July 10, 2024. Getty Images

No decision was initially made but referee Felix Zwayer was advised to check the position with VAR.

After the penalty was awarded, Kane converted the penalty into a goal, making the score 1-1.

Ollie Watkins scored the winning goal in the second half injury time to send England into the final.

“It’s not a penalty,” Koeman told reporters after the match, according to ESPN. “Its sole purpose was to block a shot. Harry Kane then shoots and their feet collide.

Dutch player Virgil van Dijk reacts under the gaze of referee Felix Zwayer. REUTERS

“Football is being ruined by these kinds of decisions from VAR. That penalty wouldn’t have been given in England. What should you do as a defender? I thought the referee blew his whistle for a bunch of ridiculous things but that’s not why we lost.”

Koeman wasn’t the only one to question the decision, with former England defender Gary Neville also appearing to echo Koeman’s complaints about the decision.

The ITV analyst described the decision as “disgraceful”.

Referee Felix Zwayer reviews the Video Assistant Referee screen and after review, England are awarded a penalty for a foul by Dutchman Denzel Dumfries (not pictured) on England’s Harry Kane. Getty Images

“There’s no way that’s a penalty. He just naturally goes in to block the shot. It’s not a penalty for me,” he said, according to the BBC.

Former England forward Alan Shearer told BBC Radio that he had not asked about contact but insisted Dumfries was “trying to block the ball”.

“The Harry Kane sequel makes the connection and I didn’t think it would be a disaster,” he added.

England forward Harry Kane scores his team’s first goal from the penalty spot. AFP via Getty Images

England will face Spain in the tournament final on Sunday.