A German newspaper declared a “new Wembley scam” after England’s victory in the Euro 2022 final on Sunday.
The Lionesses produced a heroic display to beat Germany in extra time, with substitutes Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly on the scoresheet.
However, Germany were aggrieved they did not get a penalty for handball from England skipper Leah Williamson in the first half.
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A chaotic corner in the 25th minute saw the ball pinball around England’s six-yard box, with Germany raging after it spun up and appeared to strike Williamson’s raised arm from point-blank range. VAR looked at the incident but decided it was not worth reviewing.
It has prompted fury in Germany. Sport Bild published an article with the provocative headline, "TITLE DREAM BURST AFTER SCANDAL: Wembley cheating again", while the opening line reads: “Germany cries with our football women - and is angry about the new Wembley scam!”
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Germany head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg was also upset at the incident.
“I’m thinking about the situation at 0-0, there was a clear situation in the box which was a clear handball,” she said.
“VAR looked at it but didn’t give it. Why didn’t the referee look at it? That hurt a little.
“We wanted to play courageously to get the first goal and play with a high press. When we actually had the ball more, we conceded the goal.
“In extra-time the 2-1 was just a bit unlucky. Maybe the penalty should have decided it.”
England also felt aggrieved with the officiating at Wembley from Ukrainian referee Kateryna Monzul.
Georgia Stanway was booked for an innocuous foul in the first half, while more cynical transgressions from Germany went unpunished.
England and Germany’s football history is laced with controversy, most notably the men’s 1966 World Cup final when Geoff Hurst’s shot bounced off the crossbar and ‘over’ the line. Meanwhile at the 2010 World Cup, Frank Lampard’s ‘ghost goal’ against Germany prompted the speedy introduction of goal-line technology.
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'Germany were not cheated'
We canvassed our colleagues at Eurosport Germany for their verdict. Dennis Melzer answered our call, saying that while it was a "clear penalty... Germany were not cheated".
Melzer also stressed that Bild's view was not representative of Germany as a whole.
"It was a punishable handball and therefore a clear penalty," he said.
"I was surprised that the scene was reviewed by the VAR but the referee was not asked to look at it herself."
He continued: "But Bild is Germany's yellow press. Bild exaggerates, it accuses, it ignites. It was clear that Bild would draw parallels to the match between England and Germany in 1966.
"If Germany had won, Bild would probably have run the headline 'Late revenge for Wembley'. One should not pay too much attention to this, of course Germany were not cheated."
Germany have won the European Championships a record eight times from just 13 editions – including six in a row from 1995 to 2013 – with Sunday's defeat at Wembley the first time they have failed to win having reached the final.
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