Italian media say England were given penalty to repay favour to Boris

The mind games begin! Italian media claim England’s ‘very generous’ penalty against Denmark was given because UEFA wanted to repay Boris Johnson for ‘saving football’ by helping stop the doomed European Super League

  • England beat Denmark 2-1 on Wednesday courtesy of an extra-time penalty
  • Many have said penalty was soft but the Italian media have made a huge claim
  • Gazzetta dello Sport claim spot-kick was given as a favour to Boris Johnson
  • They say UEFA were repaying Johnson for his opposition to failed Super League 

An Italian newspaper have made the incredible claim that England were only given their winning penalty against Denmark because UEFA wanted to repay the favour to Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his role in stopping the European Super League.

England beat Denmark 2-1 to book their place in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final, with the winning goal coming from the rebound of a penalty by Harry Kane.

Gazzetta dello Sport, though, have claimed that England were only given their ‘very generous’ spot-kick as a favour to Johnson – who was watching on in the stands at a raucous Wembley Stadium.

The Gazzetta dello Sport article that claims England’s penalty was a favour to Boris Johnson

Raheem Sterling goes down in the box after a challenge by Denmark defender Joakim Maehle

Johnson was inside Wembley wearing an England shirt over the top of his usual white shirt

Earlier this year, the world of football was rocked by the news that some of Europe’s top teams – including Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – were planning to shun the Champions League and Europa League in favour of a new closed-shop competition.

It was met with widespread criticism and Johnson came out to say that the plans amounted to a ‘cartel’, with the Prime Minister insisting the government would do ‘everything they could’ to block it from happening.

He said: ‘I don’t like the look of these proposals, and we’ll be consulted about what we can do.

‘We are going to look at everything that we can do with the football authorities to make sure that this doesn’t go ahead in the way that it’s currently being proposed. I don’t think that it’s good news for fans, I don’t think it’s good news for football in this country.

‘These clubs are not just great global brands – of course they’re great global brands – they’re also clubs that have originated historically from their towns, from their cities, from their local communities. 

‘They should have a link with those fans, and with the fanbase in their community. So it is very, very important that that continues to be the case.’

The Italian media hit out at England and the decision to award them a late penalty at Wembley

Gareth Southgate celebrates after the final whistle secured England’s place in the final

Harry Kane leads the players in celebration as they join the fans to sing ‘Sweet Caroline’

In their explanation, Gazzette described the foul for the penalty – on Raheem Sterling – as ‘bordering on the non-existent’. 

And the newspaper were not the only ones seemingly furious with the decision to hand the Three Lions a spot-kick.

One fan was so enraged he decided to set up a petition to UEFA with to try and get the match replayed. 

The ‘Rematch England vs Denmark’ petition started by Cris Pinto reads: ‘We wish to overule the penalty decision against Denmark. It was a wrong call, there needs to be contact for a penalty and there was absolutely no contact. If this is not overuled, it would show a failure by UEFA and the beautiful game of football.’

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