Gary Neville slams ‘disgraceful’ England penalty that left ITV pundits divided

Gary Neville

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Gary Neville criticized Harry Kane's penalty against the Netherlands as being unacceptable, but it ultimately helped England stay in the game during the Euro 2024 semi-final.

Gary Neville - Figure 1
Photo The Independent

England is set to face Spain in the Euro 2024 final this Sunday. Ollie Watkins scored an amazing goal in the 91st minute against the Dutch team, leading England to a 2-1 victory.

England's team, managed by Gareth Southgate, was behind after Xavi Simons scored a brilliant goal in the first seven minutes of the match in Dortmund. The team was then awarded a penalty before half-time, causing a debate among analysts.

Kane took a powerful shot that went over the goal, and as he fell to the ground holding his foot, it was revealed that he was fouled by Netherlands defender Denzel Dumfries.

Despite Kane successfully taking a shot, VAR suggested that referee Felix Zwayer should review the play on the field. Zwayer then indicated a penalty after looking at the monitor.

Gary Neville - Figure 2
Photo The Independent

During a discussion on ITV, Gary Neville, a former defender for England, criticized the decision as being shameful. Roy Keane added that Harry Kane may have affected the VAR's decision by remaining on the ground in the penalty area.

Neville and pundit Ian Wright disagreed about whether it was a penalty. Wright was sure it was, but Neville couldn't believe it. Wright thought Dumfries' challenge was dangerous, but Neville disagreed.

"As a defender, I believe it is unacceptable," expressed Neville. "I was outraged by the Denmark handball against Germany during such a crucial game. I was extremely upset."

"It's completely normal to stop the shot, there's no foul play, not even close to a penalty."

Gary Neville - Figure 3
Photo The Independent

"We are all losing our minds, we are confused about what a penalty is. We have trained ourselves in the game to believe that is a penalty. To be honest, that is not a penalty. I believe that in the penalty box, there is some leeway to go in and block the shot."

“When you watch how penalties are awarded nowadays, it was thoughtless,” Wright stated. “That's why it was awarded. In any other area of the field, that would be considered a foul.”

Neville responded by saying, "I don't think that should have been a penalty. I believe that in the penalty area, players should have the freedom to block shots."

In the analysis, ex-Scotland forward Ally McCoist commented that the call was "lucky" while ex-England defender Lee Dixon expressed, "I'm happy, but you still have to go for the ball."

Gary Neville - Figure 4
Photo The Independent

I don't believe it's a penalty, but it doesn't bother me.

"Definitely got me since my foot is hanging off!" Kane exclaimed after the game ended.

"Every now and then, you manage to score a goal. I was pleased to take the opportunity and watch the ball hit the back of the net. It definitely felt good."

Kane's penalty kick equalized Simons' fantastic first goal before Watkins came on as a substitute and made history by scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute for a 2-1 victory.

No English male team has ever reached a major final in another country, but now they have the opportunity to become European champions for the very first time this weekend.

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