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Euro 2024: Van Dijk slams controversial referee after Netherlands dumped out

The Netherlands were cruelly eliminated from Euro 2024 by England.

Virgil van Dijk playing football for the Netherlands

Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk was left furious with referee Felix Zwayer following his side’s exit from Euro 2024.

Ollie Watkins broke Dutch hearts in the dying minutes after firing low past Bart Verbruggen.

Van Dijk’s side had stood firm for most of the match, besides giving away a controversial penalty in the first half.

And that incident, alongside a few other calls, was something the Liverpool man took issue with.

He had no problem expressing his anger after the match, saying: “I don’t know what I should say, I don’t know if I should say something about this.

“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.

“It is what it is, the game is done, it’s very tough to take.

“Certain moments it’s obvious that it [decisions] should’ve gone our way, it didn’t. I don’t know what to say, it’s difficult to accept this.

“It’s been a very long year, a tough year. We had a big dream and we felt like we could’ve achieved it as a team. unfortunately it didn’t happen.”

The Netherlands have not been at their best during the tournament but did what they must to overcome their opponents in the knockout stages.

It was a true heartbreaking end to the tournament for Ronald Koeman’s side and Van Dijk added that they way they went out is tough to take.

“Throughout the whole tournament we’ve seen so many sides of our team.

“Good sides in the attacking form, the defensive form… but today was a good game.

“But to concede a goal in the last minute is always difficult to accept, especially when it’s a knockout, in a semi-final, shattering our dreams in the final game.”

England will go on to face Spain in the final on Sunday.

Picture of Mitch Fretton

Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.