Former Liverpool, Man City star denounces Raheem Sterling ‘flagrant plunge’ for England penalty
Dietmar Hamann slammed match officials for missing Raheem Sterling’s ‘glaring dive’ that ultimately led to England’s game-winning goal against Denmark.
The Three Lions reached their first final in 55 years, beating the Danes 2-1 after extra time thanks to an own goal from Simon Kjaer and Harry Kane, but there was controversy surrounding the winner.
Referee Danny Makkelie pointed out the spot after Manchester City winger Sterling was knocked down in the box in the 102nd minute of the game, but reruns showed there had been minimal contact from Joakim Maehle.
The decision was made following a VAR check, but Harry Kane’s one-time kick was initially saved by Kasper Schmeichel, only for the Tottenham forward to score from the rebound.
Former Liverpool and City midfielder Hamann felt it should never have been a penalty kick in the first place, however, calling the way England won “against the spirit of the game”.
“Do they deserve to win? I disagree with Liam (Brady),” the former Germany international told RTE after the game.
“They won with a penalty which was a blatant dive and that is not in the spirit of the game. England still pride themselves on being the home of fair play and no diving.
“We all remember what happened when Jurgen Klinsmann came to England and dived and then they partied with the diving.
“Like I said, we brought in VAR [to correct decisions like these]. Sterling probably thought the challenge was going to come, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.
“But Maehle pulls out of the tackle because he sees he can’t do it. There is no contact.
“VAR was brought in to rectify these decisions and correct the referee’s glaring errors. It is as glaring an error as you will see. It is a semi-final of the European Championship, I am sorry for them. Danish.
“I think there is every chance that it will result in a penalty shootout, and we would all have thought they could have the advantage with [Kasper] Schmeichel in the goal.
“Happy congratulations to England, but the way they won the game is surely not in the spirit of the game.”
When Hamann was asked that the players should do whatever it takes to win a semi-final, the German countered, retorting that the players should be role models for young viewers.
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He said: “There is a big difference between when someone sticks out a leg and makes contact – if there is contact, no problem – but there is no contact at all.
“Yes, you have to do what it takes to win, but diving is clearly not what it takes, because like I said, it’s not in the spirit of the game.
“We have to be role models. We talked before the game about role models with a social responsibility, because a lot of young children are watching tonight. We don’t want people (diving).
“How the video assistant doesn’t send the referee to the screen and say ‘look again because I don’t think there is any contact’ is beyond me.”
Another Arsenal expert and legend Liam Brady agreed with his colleague, adding: “This replay shows that there was no contact with Sterling and I don’t know how VAR didn’t get it. that. “
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Hamann also pointed out that the whistle should have been whistled by the referee even before Sterling was fouled, as there was a second ball on the pitch close to the action.
“No matter what the incident, I think as soon as he sees the second ball he has to stop play. He should have stopped play long before (the penalty was given).”
Do you agree with the German rating or is it just sour grapes? Let us know in the comments.