There's a Bump on England's Road to the Euro Final

UEFA says fans violated several rules, including in using a laser pointer on Danish goalkeeper
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2021 7:20 AM CDT
There's a Bump on England's Road to the Euro Final
Denmark's goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel prepares for England's Harry Kane, left, to take a a penalty kick during the Euro 2020 soccer championship semifinal match between England and Denmark at Wembley stadium in London on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Paul Ellis, Pool)

England's men's soccer team is headed to its first major tournament final in 55 years, but it managed to run afoul of European soccer's governing body along the way. UEFA has charged the team with three offenses tied to actions by fans present at England's 2-1 victory over Denmark Wednesday in the European Championships semi-final at London's Wembley Stadium. The game was tied 1-1 in extra time when the referee ruled England forward Raheem Sterling had been tripped in the box—though Danish fans would contend he dove, per the Washington Post, and that play should've stopped as a second ball was on the field. As captain Harry Kane prepared to take the penalty kick, the green light of a laser pointer was visible on the right side of the Danish goalkeeper's face.

Kasper Schmeichel didn't seem to notice and saved the shot, though it bounced off him and Kane was able to score the winning goal on the rebound. Officials failed to locate the perpetrator. The Danish Football Association declined to file an official complaint following the game, per the BBC. But on Thursday, UEFA charged England with "use of laser by its supporters," "lighting of fireworks by its supporters," and "disturbance caused by its supporters during the national anthem." England fans had booed during the Danish anthem, a move criticized by a rep for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson: "It's not something we would want to see." UEFA says the case "will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body in due course." England now faces Italy, who defeated Spain, in Sunday's final. (Read more UEFA stories.)

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