Angry fans start a petition to get England vs Denmark REPLAYED, claiming Raheem Sterling dived to earn penalty that led to Three Lions’ extra-time winner in Euro 2020 semi-final
As the dust settles on England’s tense and dramatic Euro 2020 semi-final win over Denmark on Wednesday night, it is becoming clear that the abiding memory for most will be the penalty awarded to Raheem Sterling in extra-time – and whether it should have been given.
For all England fans the answer is yes, absolutely. Joakim Maehle swiped for the ball and made contact with Sterling’s leg. For good measure, Mathias Jensen cut across him after that too.
For Denmark fans and most neutrals – who, let’s face it, were supporting Denmark – there was no contact, or it was so minimal that it did not justify Sterling going down, and certainly not the awarding of a penalty by Dutch referee Danny Makkelie.
One such fan was so enraged he has decided to set up a petition to UEFA with change.org to try and get the match replayed.
Raheem Sterling goes down in the box after a challenge by Denmark defender Joakim Maehle
The petition claims that there was ‘absolutely no contact’ from Maehle on Sterling
The ‘Rematch England vs Denmark’ petition started by Cris Pinto reads: ‘We wish to overule the penalty decision against Denmark. It was a wrong call, there needs to be contact for a penalty and there was absolutely no contact. If this is not overuled, it would show a failure by UEFA and the beautiful game of football.’
Of course, there is no chance of UEFA replaying the match, but its success is probably a good gauge of where people stand on the decision. At the moment, it has less than 1,000 signatures.
For context, a similar petition to get France vs Switzerland replayed after Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer’s foot appeared to be off the line before he saved Kylian Mbappe’s decisive penalty in the shootout reached over 270,000 signatures.
Harry Kane’s penalty was saved by Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, but the England captain slotted home the rebound to send his country into the Euro 2020 final and Wembley into raptures.
Denmark players surround Dutch referee Danny Makkelie after the penalty was given
Harry Kane celebrates with Phil Foden after slotting home England’s winner from the rebound
Denmark legend and father of Kasper, Peter Schmeichel, insists it was not a penalty: ‘He [Makkelie] made a really big mistake on the penalty and this will be debated for a long, long time. It’s a hard one to take because it’s not a penalty.’
Former England defender Gary Neville was not convinced it was a penalty but was not surprised it wasn’t overruled by VAR. He said: ‘If we’re being fair, you’d be devastated to lose to a penalty like that it’s so soft but they have been consistent in this tournament in being very in some ways reluctant to overrule these types of decisions.’
Similarly, ex-England striker Ian Wright labelled the decision ‘soft’ but fell short of saying it wasn’t a penalty. He added: ‘Those have been given all season, the little touch, the little clip. Raheem says he got touched. It’s not a case of defending but the fact is if we weren’t seeing these all season, you’d be saying it’s soft but it’s been given all season.