UEFA have confirmed that England have been charged with numerous incidents of fan unrest during Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Denmark, including the use of a laser pointer against goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
As Schmeichel set up for Harry Kane’s extra-time penalty, a green laser could be seen pointing at the Dane’s eyes, but it didn’t seem to bother him much as he managed to save the penalty anyway and was only beaten by the rebound.
Unsurprisingly, UEFA have taken a dim view of the incident and have confirmed on their official website that it was one of three moments of poor fan behaviour for which England have been charged.
On top of the laser pointing, England supporters are also accused of causing ‘disturbances’ during the national anthems, as well as lighting fireworks during the match.
As noted by the Daily Mail, the Met Police were also looking at the incident with the laser pointer to determine whether criminal charges should be brought against whoever was responsible.
To add to all the drama, the penalty for which the laser was used should perhaps not have been given. There have been claims that Raheem Sterling dived in the first place – something the England winger fiercely denies – but there was also a second ball on the pitch at the time which could have seen the play paused.
Referees are not required to halt play if a second ball finds its way on to the pitch and are instead encouraged to use their discretion to decide whether it has interfered with play or not. Given the ball was in the same corner as Sterling’s run, there’s a case to suggest it could have been a distraction.
The incidents and controversy didn’t mar what was otherwise an entertaining game which was played in relatively high spirits by those on the pitch.
Mikkel Damsgaard’s excellent free-kick gave Denmark an early advantage, but England drew level through a Simon Kjaer own goal and eventually took control through Kane’s tap-in following his saved penalty.
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