Published On: Thu, Jul 11th, 2024
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England: Virgil van Dijk fumes and storms off during frosty interview after Euro defeat | Football | Sport

Virgil van Dijk bit back at an interviewer following the Netherlands’ crushing 2-1 defeat against England on Wednesday night, accusing him of attempting to land him in trouble. The Dutch captain fielded questions about referee Felix Zwayer after succumbing to a last-gasp Euro 2024 semi-final defeat in Dortmund.

UEFA’s appointment of Zwayer had made the headlines in the build-up to the clash at the Westfalenstadion after his controversial past resurfaced.

The German official was suspended for six months in 2005 after taking a £250 bribe from colleague Robert Hoyzer, who was banned from football for life and handed a prison sentence after being found guilty of fraud.

Jude Bellingham was among the players who had a history with Zwayer, blasting his performance and bringing up his past mistakes after a match between former club Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in 2021.

But UEFA have previously insisted to Express Sport that the governing body and the German football authorities consider Zwayer to be fully rehabilitated.

And England’s victory against the Netherlands was his fourth match of Euro 2024, carrying a reputation as one of UEFA’s top referees.

Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman claimed “football is broken” after full-time, reacting to the VAR decision to award Harry Kane a first-half penalty for an adjudged foul by Denzel Dumfries.

Van Dijk was booked after a confrontation with Zwayer in the latter stages of the match, and he also fumed at his performance after the final whistle.

“I don’t know what I should say, I don’t know if I should say something about this,” the Liverpool superstar vented.

“I said it outside to our Dutch media, it says it all that the ref went in quite quickly after the game and had no time to shake his hand.”

But in another interview, the deflated defender was clearly in no mood to discuss the matter further, snapping at a reporter after he mentioned Zwayer’s sanction 19 years ago.

After laughing at the mention of Zwayer’s match-fixing controversy, Van Dijk told Hayters TV: “What do you want? Do you want to get me in trouble here?

“Yeah, well, he did our game against Romania and he was alright, so you don’t want to get me in trouble. That’s for you guys.”

Van Dijk then quickly walked away from the interview and will likely now enjoy a break before returning to Liverpool for pre-season.

Arne Slot’s preparations have begun on Merseyside as he faces the daunting task of filling Jurgen Klopp’s shoes.

Van Dijk is entering the final year of his Liverpool contract, and the transitional period has sparked speculation about the 32-year-old’s future.

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