Jamie Carragher shares blunt verdict on England's controversial penalty vs Netherlands

Harry Kane is fouled by Denzel Dumfries
-Credit: (Image: ITV)

Jamie Carragher didn't mince his words following a contentious penalty decision that saw England draw level in their Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands.

The match had a dramatic turn when Xavi Simons pounced on a mistake from Declan Rice to fire the Dutch ahead, leaving Jordan Pickford with no chance. However, England's response was swift as Harry Kane slotted home from the spot after Denzel Dumfries was deemed to have fouled him.

Despite Kane getting his shot off, Dumfries' subsequent challenge was enough for VAR to intervene, prompting referee Felix Zwayer to reverse his initial call and award the penalty. Kane, ever the reliable marksman, dispatched the penalty past Bart Verbruggen of Brighton, finding the bottom corner with precision.

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Gary Neville and Ian Wright in on-air disagreement as England penalty debate rages

The decision sparked debate among fans and pundits alike, with Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher taking to social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, to express his disbelief: "Never a penalty," accompanied by two laughing emojis.

Carragher also shared his thoughts with the Telegraph, stating: "That was never a pen. I can't believe the referee was asked by the VAR to look at it. And then I can't believe he gave it. If England go on to win this game, they have luck on their side."

During the VAR check on ITV, former England defender Lee Dixon expressed his disbelief, saying: "I would be astonished if this was given."

Ally McCoist, also providing commentary, seemed to anticipate a different outcome: "The fact he's running over [to the monitor], I'll be astonished if it isn't given."

ITV's refereeing expert Christina Unkel weighed in, suggesting the decision was incorrect: "I am [astonished]," she said.

Unkel explained her reasoning: "So, one of the surprising things here is, yes, is there a studs contact from Dumfries onto the top of the boot from Kane? Correct. However, Kane is getting the shot off completely, his momentum is going through. I am quite surprised that this is being sent [to the monitor] because it is not a clear and obvious error and in fact the preferred recommendation is for this not to be a penalty."

After the penalty was awarded, Dixon, clearly shocked, conceded: "I'm pleased, don't get me wrong but you have to challenge for the ball. I don't think it's a penalty but I don't care."

He later added, reflecting the mixed feelings of many: "I'm pleased, don't get me wrong. But from a defender's point of view, you have to challenge for the ball. They both go in for the ball. It's a split second. I don't think that's a penalty, but I don't care. I really don't care."