Gareth Southgate reacts to Felix Zwayer officiating England's semi-final with the Netherlands after it emerged the referee has previously served a ban for MATCH FIXING and clashed with Jude Bellingham

Gareth Southgate reacts to Felix Zwayer officiating England's semi-final with the Netherlands after it emerged the referee has previously served a ban for MATCH FIXING and clashed with Jude Bellingham Southgate reacts to Felix Zwayer officiating England vs Netherlands
  • England's semi-final against the Netherlands with be refereed by Felix Zwayer
  • Zwayer, 43, was previously suspended for his part in a match-fixing scandal
  • LISTEN to It's All Kicking Off! EUROS DAILY: Gareth Southgate has gone a bit rogue... and the mask has slipped

Gareth Southgate says he has no concerns with the appointment of a disgraced referee who has history with Jude Bellingham for Wednesday night's Euro 2024 semi-final.

Felix Zwayer, who was suspended for his part in a match-fixing scandal and subsequently condemned by Bellingham, will take charge of England's clash with the Netherlands in Dortmund.

After Borussia Dortmund lost a crunch Bundesliga fixture with Bayern Munich officiated by Zwayer in 2021, Bellingham – then a Dortmund player – hit out in a post-match interview.

'You can look at a lot of the decisions in the game,' he said. 'You give a referee, that has match-fixed before, the biggest game in Germany. What do you expect?'

Zwayer was banned for six months following a 2005 scandal in which he was found to have accepted a 300-euro bribe from fellow referee Rober Hoyzer.

After his comments, Bellingham, then 18, was hit with a 40,000 euro fine and was investigated by German police, while Zwayer took a two-month break from officiating.

The appointment has triggered controversy but Southgate was relaxed about the situation.

'No,' he said when asked if he had any issues. 'I think everybody knows how I deal with refs, with complete respect for every referee.

'I know the two guys at UEFA who have been running the refs programme and I think they appreciate the respect we have shown as a team to officials over eight years.

'I think there's a right way to conduct yourself towards officials and I think that's very important for the game.

'So no, I'm not concerned about who the ref is.

'He will be at a very high standard because that's the way UEFA make those decisions and the way they monitor games during the tournament. So, for me, it's not even a consideration.'

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