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Gary Neville blasts England's penalty as an 'absolute DISGRACE'

  /  autty

Gary Neville and Ian Wright argued at length over the validity of England's penalty shout during the Three Lions' semi-final against the Netherlands.

England had trailed earlier through a stunner from Xavi Simons, but were handed a controversial spot kick when Harry Kane hit the deck before the 20-minute mark.

The Bayern Munich forward had already skied his effort when he was clipped by Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries, who was booked for his role in the goal, which was awarded after a VAR check.

Referee Felix Zwayer had originally awarded the goal kick, but changed his mind after a check with the technology.

Kane buried the penalty shortly after, allowing England to climb back into the tie before half-time.

'As a defender I think it's an absolute disgrace,' Neville said on ITV. ' An absolutely disgraceful decision to have that given against me as a penalty anytime, but in a game of such importance (even worse).

'I was fuming with the Denmark one the other week, I was offended by that one, that was a disgrace. I have to say the defender just goes in naturally and blocks the shot it's not a penalty for me.

'It's nowhere near a penalty for me.

'I don't think many of the England players were claiming it either,' the pundit added. 'Harry obviously stayed down, he took a knock but look, you take your luck, England have had a really good half.'

Wright was less convinced that there had been a miscarriage of justice in awarding the spot kick, saying that the call was more in line with the contemporary game.

'I think you look at the game now and the way it is when things go to VAR, that was reckless,' Wright argued. 'That's why they've given it.

'If that's anywhere else on the pitch, they're giving it as a foul.'

But Neville doubled down on his decision, continuing: 'We're all going mad, we think everything's a penalty

'If someone thinks that's reckless, we've conditioned ourselves into the game where we think that's reckless, and that's a penalty - honestly, that's not a penalty.'

Wright stressed that Dumfries' challenge was 'studs up' and therefore, the decision valid, but Neville continued to stonewall.

'I think for a defender, they should be allowed to go with honesty and block a shot in the box,' the former Manchester United played insisted.

Neville found himself aligned with his Sky Sports co-pundit Jamie Carragher, who was quick to state on social media site X that it was 'never a penalty' shortly after the decision was made.