Gary Neville and Ian Wright clash over 'disgraceful' England decision in Euro 2024 semi-final

Ian Wright and Gary Neville
-Credit: (Image: ITV)


Gary Neville and Ian Wright shared a heated debate over the penalty awarded to England in their Euro 2024 semi-final against the Netherlands.

Harry Kane earned a spot-kick for Gareth Southgate's side in controversial circumstances after going to ground after seeing an effort of his drift over the bar.

The Bayern Munich striker was caught on the foot when connecting with the ball, though contact appeared minimal and referee Felix Zwayer chose not to awarded a penalty.

Zwayer was then referred to the pitchside monitor to review the incident and decided to penalise Inter Milan defender Denzel Dumfries, sparking huge cheers from the England fans in attendance.

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Staggered by this verdict, Neville expressed his disbelief at the Three Lions' fortune when reviewing the incident for ITV at half-time. "As a defender, I think it's an absolutely disgraceful decision," said the United legend. "There's no way that was a penalty. He just goes in naturally to block the shot. It's not a penalty for me. You have to take your luck though."

But Wright disagreed, describing Dumfries' challenge as "reckless" and added: "When you look at the way penalties are given now and the way the game is when we go to VAR, that was reckless."

Neville fired back: "Reckless? That is not reckless. Oh my God." Wright continued: "But Gary, he's given it. That's why we've got VAR. If that was anywhere else on the pitch you'd get a foul for it!"

Speaking as a co-commentator for ITV, Lee Dixon sided with Neville's stance and remarked: “I would be astonished if this was given.” I’m pleased, don’t get me wrong. But from a defenders’ point of view, you have to challenge for the ball. They both go in for the ball. It’s a split second. I don’t think that’s a penalty, but I don’t care. I really don’t care.”