Anthony Taylor at center of more Euro 2024 controversy after Virgil van Dijk complaints

Virgil van Dijk fumed over Anthony Taylor's decision to rule out a Netherlands goal against France
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Controversy continues to shroud referee Anthony Taylor at Euro 2024 after Germany crashed out against Spain on Friday.

Taylor had been assigned to the quarter-finals of Euro 2024, despite facing exceptional criticism for previous decisions earlier in the tournament. He was involved in the group stage, but UEFA confirmed Taylor was handed the responsibility of overseeing Spain's quarter-final against hosts Germany in Stuttgart.

The Premier League officials have faced heavy criticism throughout their time at the tournament - and it continued after Germany’s 2-1 loss to Spain. The Germans stayed alive when a last-gasp Florian Wirtz goal canceled out Dani Olmo’s opener, but Mikel Merino’s header in the final stages of extra time sent the hosts packing.

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However, Taylor was the subject of plenty of vitriol online. In extra time, Germany was expected to win a penalty when Jamal Musiala’s goal-bound shot struck Marc Cucurella’s hand - but the referee said no penalty and the VAR failed to intervene.

Taylor clearly thought it was an unintentional offense, and this is an opinion challenged by many. Social media was ablaze with criticism directed at the Englishman, with one user (@LFC_Pranav) writing: “Anthony Taylor doesn’t deserve to officiate in the Premier League, let alone the Euros. Disgraceful refereeing.”

Another suggested Taylor ‘should be sanctioned’ for the failure to award a penalty. Taylor was also subjected to heavy scrutiny in the Netherlands’ goalless draw with France, when a protracted VAR review led to Xavi Simons’ goal being disallowed.

Anthony Taylor was not swayed by Germany's passionate appeals
Anthony Taylor was not swayed by Germany's passionate appeals -Credit:Getty Images

After that incident, Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk publicly criticized the officials. After the match, van Dijk declared: “We scored a goal that is a fair goal. He had no chance to get into that corner. But yeah, the English referee decided to disallow it.”

Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries was accused of interfering with play as his teammate scored. While UEFA managing director of referees Roberto Rosetti praised Taylor for his judgement, he noted that the review process took longer than necessary.

“We can improve because we have also to find elements of improvement - and there are always elements for improvement,” Rosetti said. “I guess I think in this situation the element of improvement is the duration of this review. For sure the duration can be less. We can decrease the duration of the review.

“In this situation, the VAR checked two possible offsides, then he had to check also the possible impact of the attacker on the goalkeeper, and then he checked also possible previous contact between the players. Then we can add that we are at the Euros, the pressure is the pressure, and of course we always accuracy, of course working on the speed of the duration of reviews. But, at the end, the decision is totally correct.”