Wild conspiracy links Sterling penalty with England’s ESL stance

The fallout from last night’s Euro 2020 semi-final between England and Denmark has been intense and shows no signs of slowing up just yet.

England are already facing charges from UEFA over a laser pointer being shone in Kasper Schmeichel’s face before Harry Kane’s penalty. They also face charges relating to “disturbances” during the Danish national anthem and fireworks being set off.

The awarding of that penalty though, has been a particular sore point, particularly in Italian and Spanish media reports which suggest there could have been foul play involved beyond the pitch.

A report in Italian media outlet Gazzetta dello Sport (via The Mirror) claims that the “very generous penalty” was awarded as a favour due to the country’s influence on the collapse of the European Super League. Of the 12 clubs who originally joined the proposal, the six Premier League sides were the first to withdraw.

The ESL would of course have had disastrous consequences for UEFA, leading to a conspiracy that England were given preferential treatment against Denmark.

That same idea was echoed by a report in Spanish outlet, Marca. That piece criticised the fact most of England’s games have been held at Wembley.

“Most teams have had to travel across Europe and play without their fans. This has not happened with the English. Of their seven games, six have been in London. Only the quarter-final against Ukraine was outside of England. In all the other games, Southgate’s side have had the encouragement of their supporters in the stands.

“But last night’s penalty has curled all suspicions. If we exonerate (the Dutch referee, Danny) Makkelie because we understand that it is a penalty on the pitch, if we forget all the swimming pools starring Sterling – a true specialist in these circumstances – and if we stop to read the protocol of the VAR, then the Danes have been screwed.”

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