Why Bellingham has history with England's semi-final referee Zwayer

German referee Felix Zwayer will take charge of England’s Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands on Wednesday – and he has history with Jude Bellingham.

The 43-year-old from Berlin will lead an all-German officiating team in Dortmund. It will be the second time Zwayer has overseen a match involving the Dutch, having also refereed their last-16 victory over Romania.

Before that, Zwayer took charge of Italy’s opening match against Albania and Portugal’s win over Turkey in the second round of group matches.

Wednesday night’s clash will see the German share the pitch with Three Lions midfielder Bellingham – and the pair have history.

Felix Zwayer served a six-month ban in 2005

In December 2021, Bellingham received a fine of €40,000 (£33,970) from the German FA for his post-match comments on Zwayer after Borussia Dortmund’s 3-2 loss to Bayern Munich.

Bellingham hit out at the performance of Zwayer after he turned down appeals for a penalty – only to award Bayern one for a Mats Hummels handball.

The sports court of the German Football Association evaluated Bellingham’s statement as “unsportsmanlike conduct”.

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Speaking in 2021, German football expert Stefan Bienkowski says Jude Bellingham showed ‘youthful inexperience’ after criticising referee Felix Zwayer following Borussia Dortmund’s 3-2 defeat by Bayern Munich

After the game Bellingham told ViaPlay: “You give a referee that has match-fixed before the biggest game in Germany – what do you expect?

“For me, it wasn’t [a penalty]. He [Hummels] is not even looking at the ball and he’s fighting to get it and it hits him. You can look at a lot of the decisions in the game.”

England international Bellingham was referring to Zwayer’s six-month ban by the German FA in 2005 following his involvement in a match-fixing scandal.

Jude Bellingham hit out at the performance of referee Felix Zwayer after Dortmund's 3-2 defeat to Bayern Munich

Zwayer admitted taking money from Robert Hoyzer, a fellow referee who had previously been banned for allegedly being involved in match fixing, four years prior to his promotion to the Bundesliga.

Defending his decisions following Bellingham’s comments, Zwayer – who subsequently took a two-month break from refereeing – told Sky Germany: “The situation was a standard corner kick.

“I see in the game that it’s about a touch by Hummels. The question for me was: Is the arm stretched away from the body or not? In real-time, it was not clear whether his arm was moved towards the ball.

Jude Bellingham was unhappy with some of referee Felix Zwayer's decisions during Borussia Dortmund's loss to Bayern Munich

“I checked it with [VAR officials] in Cologne and then the arm position was checked.

“The video assistant made an assessment for himself and said that Hummels had his arm away from the body in an unnatural position.

“In the end, he clearly deflected the ball with his elbow and I came to the decision that it was a penalty.”

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