Netherlands vs England Official has History with Match-Fixing, Jude Bellingham

Netherlands vs England Official has History with Match-Fixing, Jude Bellingham article feature image
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Photo by Franz Kirchmayr/SEPA.Media /Getty Images). Pictured: Felix Zwayer.

There is already some controversy heading into the Euro 2024 clash between the Netherlands and England.

UEFA appointed Felix Zwayer, an extremely controversial official, as the referee for Wednesday's match.

In 2005, Zwayer was given a six-month ban after he was found to have taken a £250 bribe from fellow official Robert Hoyzer, who was then given a lifetime ban from football for match fixing. Zwayer's ban was shorter because he cooperated with the proper authorities and helped bring Hoyzer's scheme to light.

Zwayer also has a distinct history with England's star midfielder Jude Bellingham. In 2021, while Bellingham was with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, Bellingham referenced Zwayer's match-fixing in a post-match interview.

“You give a referee that has match fixed before the biggest game in Germany. What do you expect?” Bellingham said.

Zwayer took a two-month leave after Bellingham's comments, though the exact reason for that leave remains unclear. The German Football Federation fined Bellingham for his comments.

“The statement deliberately creates the false impression that I did not referee the match to the best of my ability,” Zwayer said. “Even if you put yourself in the subjective perspective, which is marked by emotion, his statement is far from professional or factual.”

Now, Bellingham and Zwayer will meet again in another high-stakes match — possibly one of the biggest matches of Bellingham's career.

England is +160 on the 90-minute moneyline, the Netherlands is +220 and the draw is +180 at DraftKings. England is -135 to advance while the Netherlands is +105.

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