Petition for Euro 2024 match to be replayed after controversial decision goes viral despite UEFA explanation

The petition has gone viral.

A petition for a match at Euro 2024 to be replayed following a controversial decision has gained almost half a million signatures.

On Friday heavyweights Germany and Spain went head-to-head in a thrilling quarter-final in Stuttgart, but it was the tournament hosts who bowed out of the competition.

Spain looked set to progress until Florian Wirtz scored an 89th-minute equaliser to send the clash to extra-time.

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Spain then scored a late goal of their own, Mikel Merino heading home in the 119th-minute to snatch a 2-1 win and break German hearts.

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Shortly after the match, German supporters launched an online petition calling for the match to be replayed. They felt that their side should have been awarded a penalty during extra-time when Jamal Musiala’s shot struck the hand of Marc Cucurella.

Referee Anthony Taylor waved play on despite the protests of German players and fans, and Video Assistant Referee Stuart Attwell was happy with the on-field decision.

 

Based on the guidance gave to referees before the tournament, Taylor made the correct decision as Cucurella’s hand was not in an unnatural position when the ball struck it.

Roberto Rosetti, UEFA’s head of referees, told officials that he did not want to see penalties awarded for incidents where a defender’s arm is close to the body and in a near-vertical position.

Despite that, Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann fumed after full-time: “I cannot understand why it was not evaluated, even though there were 48,000 replays.”

The ball struck Marc Cucurella's hand [Getty]

The ball struck Marc Cucurella’s hand [Getty]

He later told reporters: “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.

 

“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.”

Despite Nagelsmann’s admission that the rule was followed, a petition calling for the match to be replayed has been signed by almost 350,000 fans in less than two days.

What German fans have ignored is how Toni Kroos managed to stay on the pitch despite making several rough challenges.

 

Spain will face France in the semi-finals on Tuesday, before England take on the Netherlands on Wednesday.