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Koeman says VAR has broken football as Netherlands suffer Euro 2024 heartbreak

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Jul 2024

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Ronald Koeman said VAR has broken football after the Netherlands suffered Euro 2024 heartbreak against England in Wednesday’s semi-final.

The Oranje looked to be on course for a final meeting with Spain when Xavi Simons fired home after seven minutes, but England levelled through Harry Kane’s 18th-minute penalty before Ollie Watkins stepped off the bench to net a 90th-minute winner.

The penalty decision that led to Kane’s leveller was a controversial one, with the England captain caught by Denzel Dumfries’ high boot having already got his shot off.

Referee Felix Zwayer awarded the spot-kick after being sent to the pitchside monitor, leaving Koeman to rail against VAR’s impact.

“In my opinion it should not have been a penalty,” said Koeman.

“He [Kane] kicked the ball and the boots touched. I think that we cannot play proper football and this is due to VAR. It really breaks football.”

Oranje captain Virgil van Dijk agreed the penalty was a turning point but would not be drawn on Zwayer’s performance.

“I think the penalty moment is a big moment, England had some confidence out of it,” he said.

“I think so many decisions didn’t go our way, but I don’t want to speak about the referee.”

While the Three Lions enter Sunday’s showpiece match against Spain as underdogs, Koeman sees no reason why they cannot lift the trophy, saying: “I think England showed great football in the first half after being 1-0 down.

“It is football. Maybe if you watch all of the matches of the Spanish team, they are playing more offensive, great wingers and ball possession and you need to stop that.

“But England are in the final and have the possibility to win it. Spain are playing on a high level but England can stop them. Why not?”

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