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Virgil van Dijk fumes at referee in Netherlands’ defeat to England

Virgil van Dijk hinted at his disapproval of referee Felix Zwayer’s performance in the Netherlands’ 2-1 Euro 2024 semi-final defeat to England on Wednesday night.

The Oranje were dumped out of the competition by Ollie Watkins’ last-gasp winner for the Three Lions, coming after Xavi Simons and Harry Kane had struck in the first half.

Simons’ early belter put the Netherlands ahead but England drew level when Zwayer awarded a dubious penalty for Denzel Dumfries’ challenge on Kane after a check from the video assistant referee, allowing the Bayern Munich striker to fire in from the spot.

Speaking after the game, Van Dijk inferred Zwayer’s decision to leave the pitch quickly at full-time showed the controversial nature of his display.

Denzel Dumfries, Harry Kane

Dumfries was penalised for his challenge on Kane / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

He told beIN Sports: “I don’t know what to say, I don’t know if I should say something about this.

“But I think it says it all that the referee went in quite quickly after the game, had no time to shake his hand.”

Speaking to NOS, the centre-back added: “But to blame it on that, I don’t want to do that either. I just don’t know what to say. It hurts a lot.

“If you concede it so late in the match, then that is of course terrible. You put everything into it, everyone gives everything, and then when it falls like that in the last minute…that just sucks, sorry to say it like that.

“You have more possession and want to punish the little moments that you get. It felt like we could make it 2-1. But that didn’t happen and now we’re standing here empty-handed.”

Zwayer penalised the Netherlands 11 times for fouls compared to England’s six, while he also dished out three yellow cards apiece for each side.

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