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German referee once linked to match-fixing to oversee England’s Euro 2024 semifinal

German referee once linked to match-fixing to oversee England’s Euro 2024 semifinalillustration

Felix Zwayer, the referee for 's semifinal against the Netherlands at the European Championship, was previously involved in a -fixing scandal in Germany.

Zwayer, who will officiate his fourth Euro match and second involving the Netherlands, was appointed by UEFA and the German soccer federation on Monday.

In 2006, Zwayer, then a young assistant referee, received a six-month ban following allegations that he accepted money from referee Robert Hoyzer, who was banned for match-fixing. According to a 2014 report by German newspaper Die Zeit, Zwayer accepted 300 euros from Hoyzer in 2004 and did not immediately report it, although there was no evidence he manipulated any games. Zwayer later provided crucial evidence in the case.

Despite controversy, Zwayer has continued his refereeing career, recently overseeing Dortmund's 3-2 loss to Bayern Munich in December 2021. His appointment for the England-Netherlands semifinal has sparked criticism, with England midfielder Jude Bellingham previously fined for criticizing Zwayer's appointment during his time at Borussia Dortmund in 2021.

Responding to concerns about Zwayer's appointment, England defender Luke Shaw stated, “No, not at all. We have to respect UEFA on whoever they decide to pick as the ref. That won't change anything about us. We still just focus on the game in hand, not too much about what refs we've been given or this and that. So for us, it won't make any difference.”

Meanwhile, Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic will officiate Tuesday's semifinal between Spain and France.

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