England fans will have been up half the night celebrating one of the greatest nights in their history. Gareth Southgate has led his country to it’s first final in 55 years. However, across the internet, fans have no joy for the English triumph. It is merely distain, for a penalty for England is what knock Denmark out of the Euros. England shook off the label of “England Golden Generation” and showed the world what they could be.
Denmark were the neutrals favourite for the tournament. After their tragic opening loss to Finland, after Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch, things looked bleak.
They pulled through though, and got through their group and into the knock out stages. Denmark then beat Wales 4-0 in controversial circumstances. They followed it up with a 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the semi-finals.
England, the Villains of Euro 2020
England, however, have been seen as the villains of the tournament. Perceived as “Arrogant” for a myriad of reasons, some justified, some not, English fans have suffered abuse on line all tournament. This was at it’s peak after the England Denmark match last night, due to the penalty.
Mocked for their arrogance by many, including Croatia star Luka Modric, for thinking that they have a chance of winning the tournament. The singing of the 1996 hit song “Three Lions (It’s Coming Home)” has also brought ire from rival fans, who claim that England fans should not be singing about how they can win the tournament. How awful of them, believing in their team.
England fans have been accused of racism in recent times for booing the kneeling by players before the match started.
The kneeling began at the end of last season, in response to growing racial tensions in the US culminating in the death of George Floyd. In Great Britain, the players adopted the practice of taking the knee to symbolise their fight against racial inequality, using the phrase “Black Lives Matter”.
Some fans have booed the knee due their disapproval of the kneeling. Some take the knee due their disbelief in the racial equality suffered by those in this country, and feel like it is a token gesture meant to make the lives of black people better at the expense of themselves. These people are incorrect and almost certainly have some racial biases.
Others boo the knee for other reasons. Some boo it due to disagree with the Americanisation of British politics, and bringing the problems of the US over to Britain. Police brutality in Britain is not as big a problem as America, with people (Black or otherwise) dying in police custody is minute compared to in the United States.
Others boo the knee due to the association with the “Black Lives Matter” group. Despite using their name and slogan, the Premier League claim no association with the group, who in the past have used violence to further their cause, and raised money with little way to utilise the funds. Some even argue the group support “Marxism” and are not compatible with modern society.
I’m sure there are other reasons people boo the knee, and a lot that do are simply racist. However, the issue is more nuanced than it appears to the eye.
England vs Denmark – The Danish Goal
England and Denmark were held to a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes last night. Denmark opened the scoring with a wonderful free kick in the first half – the first free kick of the tournament. England equalised 9 minutes later through an own goal by Simon Kjaer of Denmark. Nothing untoward in any of those goals, right?
The Denmark goal should NOT have stood. This has been reported by the Birmingham Mail and explained in clear and concise detail.
“FIFA rules state that: “Where three or more defending team players form a ‘wall,’ all attacking team players must remain at least 1 metre (1 yard) from the ‘wall’ until the ball is in play.”
Prior to the free kick being taken, the Danish wall moved within one metre of the England wall, blocking the view of the ball from England keeper Jordan Pickford.
FIFA rules state that: “Where three or more defending team players form a ‘wall,’ all attacking team players must remain at least 1 metre (1 yard) from the ‘wall’ until the ball is in play.”
England vs Denmark – The Penalty
For me, I cannot see why it is not a penalty in the England and Denmark game.
Sterling is made contact with by two Danish defenders. The first knocks his leg and steps on the back of his heel, while the second checks him with his hip.
Does Sterling go down easy? Yes.
Would he have got the penalty if he didn’t go down? No
Is it still a penalty? Of course it is.