Former Premier League referee chief gives verdict on controversial England penalty in Euro 2024 semi-final – and responds to Gary Neville after the pundit branded call ‘absolute disgrace’

A former Premier League referee chief has given his view on England's controversial penalty against the Netherlands at Euro 2024

A former Premier League referee has had his say on the controversial decision to award England a penalty in their Euro 2024 tie against the Netherlands.

Gareth Southgate’s side had trailed 1-0 early on through an impressive Xavi Simons strike, but were handed a spot kick from seemingly nowhere when Harry Kane was clipped by Denzel Dumfries.

Kane had skied his effort, but after a VAR check, referee Felix Zwayer pointed to the spot, with Kane slotting home to get the better of Bart Verbruggen from 12 yards to square the game back up.

The call didn’t come without controversey, however, with Jamie Carragher leading the social media slamming of the decision, despite it benefitting England.

Taking to social media too, former Premier League official Keith Hackett, who worked in the league in its first two years as the Premier League after rising to the top level around 20 years prior and was also once in charge of PGMOL, slammed the call.

A former Premier League referee chief has given his view on England's controversial penalty against the Netherlands at Euro 2024

A former Premier League referee chief has given his view on England’s controversial penalty against the Netherlands at Euro 2024

The Three Lions were awarded a spot kick when Denzel Dumfries clipped Harry Kane in the penalty area

The Three Lions were awarded a spot kick when Denzel Dumfries clipped Harry Kane in the penalty area

Keith Hackett took to X, formerly Twitter, to give his verdict on the decision in the first half

Keith Hackett took to X, formerly Twitter, to give his verdict on the decision in the first half

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Hackett, now 80, wrote: ‘Well we will accept the penalty. However the referee’s initial judgment was sound. No foul both players going for the ball.

‘Once again VAR incorrectly intervenes and in the usual manner the referee goes to the screen and at a glance changes his mind and awards the PK.’

He also responded to Gary Neville, who was working as a pundit for the match on ITV and had branded the call ‘an absolute disgrace’.

‘As a defender I think it’s an absolute disgrace, an absolutely disgraceful decision to have that given against me as a penalty anytime, but in a game of such importance,’ Neville said. ‘I was fuming with the Denmark one the other week, I was offended by that one, that was a disgrace.

‘I have to say the defender just goes in naturally and blocks the shot. It’s not a penalty for me, it’s nowhere near a penalty for me. I don’t think many of the England players were claiming it either.

‘Harry obviously stayed down, he took a knock but look, you take your luck, England have had a really good half.’

Hackett took to X again, posting: ”Well said Gary Neville you are correct.’

Gary Neville, meanwhile, on ITV punditry, branded the decision 'an absolute disgrace'

Gary Neville, meanwhile, on ITV punditry, branded the decision ‘an absolute disgrace’

Hackett then took to social media again to write that Neville was 'correct' in his assessment

Hackett then took to social media again to write that Neville was ‘correct’ in his assessment

Hackett worked as a referee in the early years of the Premier League and became chief of PGMOL in his retirement

Hackett worked as a referee in the early years of the Premier League and became chief of PGMOL in his retirement

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Kane nonetheless scored the goal, firing into the bottom left corner despite Brighton goalkeeper Verburggen going the right way.

It took the Three Lions captain to three goals for the tournament, joint first in the race for the Golden Boot. 

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