Meet the England vs Denmark referee who was cause of Three Lions tunnel bust-up just months ago

Anthony Gordon, Jude Bellingham and Ben Chilwell of England appeal to Referee Artur Manuel Soares Dias during the international friendly match between England and Brazil
-Credit: (Image: Robin Jones/Getty Images)

England will encounter a familiar face when they take on Euro 2024 foes Denmark - but not one they'll be happy to see.

Thursday's match against the Danes could well decide the Three Lions' fate in Group C of this summer's European Championship. And the official chosen for the crucial clash is the same one who was met with contention from England's coaching staff at Wembley in March, reports the Mirror.

Portuguese referee Artur Soares Dias was in charge for England's 1-0 friendly loss to Brazil less than three months ago. And it was one of Gareth Southgate's coaches, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who was visibly displeased with how several physical challenges from the visiting team went unpunished.

The spotlight was ultimately stolen by Real Madrid-bound Endrick, who debuted off the bench to deliver the decisive goal in London. However, the altercation that erupted between both teams in the tunnel at half-time did not escape the keen eye of observant spectators.

Former Chelsea and Leeds hitman Hasselbaink, 52, took it upon himself to pursue the fourth official into the tunnel to demand explanation for the perceived lack of foul calls by colleague Dias. Both Lucas Paqueta and Jude Bellingham received bookings amid a lively first-half at the home of English football, though many agreed the visitors had been let off lightly.

Channel 4 reported Kelly Somers said at the time: "Well I can tell you that it might have been feisty on the pitch, it was exactly that in the tunnel as well. I am sat behind the Brazil bench, they were animated throughout the first-half.

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"England coach Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink followed the fourth official down the tunnel. They were deep in conversation. I'm not multi-lingual, it wasn't in English. But Danilo also got involved. Hasselbaink's message was, 'One, two, three, four fouls, too many fouls.'"

Dias has been officiating at the international level since 2010 and took charge of matches at Euro 2020. His club experience isn't limited to his home turf in the Primeira Liga, either, given he's a seasoned referee across the Europa League and Champions League.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was unhappy with Soares Dias the last time they met -Credit:Getty Images

The 44-year-old is no stranger to being at the centre of controversy, having received death threats in 2017 leading up to a match between Portuguese sides Porto and Pacos de Ferreira.

As England gear up for Thursday's fixture, they'll be looking to step up their game after a lacklustre performance in their opening 1-0 victory over Serbia. Despite a dull second half, Southgate's squad managed to secure all three points thanks to Bellingham's early goal.

Following a contentious match at Wembley in March, Hasselbaink will undoubtedly be keeping a vigilant eye on the refereeing once more in Frankfurt. A victory would cement a top-two finish for England in Group C, ensuring progression to the knockout stages with one match to spare.