Pak Times

Controversial decision sparks petition for Euro 2024 quarter-final replay

An intense quarter-final clash between Germany and Spain at Euro 2024 has ended with a petition garnering nearly half a million signatures, calling for a replay of the match following a contentious decision.

In a nail-biting encounter in Stuttgart on Friday, tournament hosts Germany faced off against Spain, ultimately bowing out of the competition in a dramatic 2-1 defeat. The match saw Florian Wirtz scoring a crucial 89th-minute equaliser for Germany, pushing the game into extra-time.

However, hopes were dashed for the Germans when Spain’s Mikel Merino scored in the 119th minute, securing their victory.

The controversy erupted over a disputed penalty decision during extra-time, where German supporters argue that their team should have been awarded a penalty. The incident occurred when Jamal Musiala’s shot struck the hand of Spain’s Marc Cucurella.

Referee Anthony Taylor and Video Assistant Referee Stuart Attwell chose not to award a penalty, aligning with UEFA’s guidelines that emphasise penalties should not be given when a defender’s arm is in a natural position close to the body.

Despite these regulations, German coach Julian Nagelsmann expressed frustration post-match, “I cannot understand why it was not evaluated, even though there were 48,000 replays.”

Read also: Euro 2024: Spain defeat Germany to reach semis in extra time

“There is a rule and I hope there is no wrong decision. They applied the rule and it was not a penalty. I do not feel cheated,” Nagelsmann stated, acknowledging the decision’s adherence to the guidelines.

Howerer, Nagelsmann called for a reconsideration of the practicality and logic of the handball rule in football, “For me the question is about making it more practical, more logical, in terms of how this (handball) rule is assessed. I say this for football (in general) not today.”

“You look at the hand, if it is at 3 o’clock, if it is a bit higher or a bit lower. But there are people with bigger muscles than me, different movements.”

In response to the controversial decision, German fans swiftly launched an online petition demanding a replay of the match, amassing close to 350,000 signatures in under two days, as reported by The Sun.

The petition has overlooked the leniency shown towards Toni Kroos, who remained on the field despite committing several robust challenges throughout the game.

Spain now advances to the semi-finals where they will face France on Tuesday, while England takes on the Netherlands on Wednesday.

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