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Englands Euro 2024 game against Netherlands to be overseen by a referee criticized by Bellingham

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DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — The referee for England’s semifinal game against the Netherlands at Euro 2024 will be Felix Zwayer, who once had ties to a match-fixing scandal in Germany.

Wednesday’s game will be Zwayer’s fourth of Euro 2024 and his second with the Netherlands after refereeing the Dutch team’s 3-0 win over Romania in the round of 16.

UEFA and the German soccer federation announced the appointment Monday.

England midfielder Jude Bellingham was fined 40,000 euros ($43,400) while playing for Borussia Dortmund in 2021 for criticizing the appointment of Zwayer.

As a young assistant referee, Zwayer received a six-month ban in 2006 over an allegation that he had received money from another referee, Robert Hoyzer, who was banned for match-fixing.

A ruling in the case, which was eventually published in 2014 by German newspaper Die Zeit, stated that Zwayer had accepted 300 euros ($325) from Hoyzer ahead of a game in 2004 and had not immediately reported the incident, but said that there was no evidence Zwayer had manipulated a game and that he had eventually provided crucial evidence.

After Zwayer oversaw a close 3-2 loss for Dortmund to Bayern Munich in December 2021, Bellingham told Norwegian broadcaster Viaplay: “You give a referee that’s, you know, match-fixed before, the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?”

Zwayer hasn’t been appointed to any Dortmund games since then but will be back at the same stadium when it hosts England’s game against the Netherlands.

Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic is overseeing Tuesday’s semifinal game between Spain and France.

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