Just days after England knocked Germany out of Euro 2020, the Three Lions will take on Ukraine in the quarter-finals on Saturday night – but there’s a catch.
In eyebrow-raising circumstances, all but one of the match officials for the big game are from none other than, wait for it, Germany. Make of that what you will.
England went to war with the Germans on Tuesday night with Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane shooting home as Gareth Southgate’s side triumphed 2-0 at Wembley Stadium. Auf Wiedersehen.
|Felix Brych is one of the best-known referees in the world and one of UEFA’s most trusted officials
And now the man in charge of the Three Lions’ big clash against the Ukrainians will, in fact, have been cheering on Germany from the first to last whistle just days ago.
Felix Brych, the man who holds all the power with his little whistle, is one of the best-known referees in the world and one of UEFA’s most trusted officials.
He took charge of Portugal’s last-16 exit to Belgium, a match in which he dished out five yellow cards without even blinking. Definitely not one to get on the wrong side of.
He will be joined on the night by his German counterparts including two assistant referees, a video assistant referee and three assistant video referees.
🚨⚽️ | NEW: ENG vs UKR officials:
🇩🇪 Felix Brych (GER)
🇩🇪 Mark Borsch (GER)
🇩🇪 Stefan Lupp (GER)
Video Assistant Referee
🇩🇪 Marco Fritz (GER)
Assistant Video Referee
🇩🇪 Christian Dingert (GER)
🇩🇪 Christian Gittelmann (GER)
🇩🇪 Bastian Dankert (GER)
— Politics For All (@PoliticsForAlI) July 2, 2021
The only non-German official for the match is Carlos del Cerro Grande, the Spanish fourth official.
On the face of it, it looks suspicious on paper, doesn’t it? However, the careers of referees rest on the fact that they are unbiased in every match they officiate.
Tell you what, though, whether the men in charge are German or not, there’s only one thing and thing only that England fans need to remember. It’s coming home.