July 10, 2024 2 min read


Fact-checked by Angel Hristov

Euro 2024 Referee Was Once Implicated in a Huge Scandal

Felix Zwayer was also appointed as a referee for the Europa Conference League semi-final between Aston Villa and Olympiacos

Felix Zwayer, a man who was formerly banned over an alleged involvement in a scandal, is set to serve as a referee for the Euro 2024 semi-final between England and the Netherlands. While some fans questioned UEFA’s choice, the association stood by its decision.

Zwayer, for context, was previously banned from soccer for half a year. In 2004, Zwayer received EUR 300 from fellow referee Robert Hoyzer. The latter told Zwayer to “avoid critical situations” for one of the teams in a game between Werder Bremen and SV Wuppertal.

Hoyzer himself was no stranger to fixing games. Also in 2004, the man handed two phantom penalties to Hamburger SV during their match against SC Paderborn, resulting in a surprising victory for the underdogs.

However, Paderborn’s triumph was highly suspicious to many, leading to an investigation by the German Football Association (DFB). To top it off, gambling operators reported irregular betting patterns, further suggesting that something criminal might be happening.

The whole situation became known as the 2005 German soccer match-fixing scandal, which was the largest controversy in German soccer since the 70s’ Bundesliga scandal.

The DFB Couldn’t Confirm Zwayer Manipulated the Game

Zwayer was implicated in Hoyzer’s eventual testimony. The latter man was cooperative and admitted to his crimes and even told the investigators of the EUR 300 he had given to Zwayer.

However, the DFB was unable to confirm that Zwayer had manipulated the game. He was also cooperative with the investigation and was actually one of the concerned referees who had initially approached the DFB, resulting in a fairly lenient 6-month ban.

Hoyzer, on the other hand, was not so lucky. In addition to a two-year prison sentence, he was banned from soccer for life.

Zwayer’s participation in this scandal became known publicly only a few years ago. As a result, athlete Jude Bellingham critiqued Zwayer’s refereeing during a game between Borussia Dortmund, and Bayern Munich, alleging corruption.

He was fined EUR 40,000 for this comment.

In any case, Zwayer has now cemented himself as a trusted referee and was also selected to officiate the Europa Conference League semi-final between Aston Villa and Olympiacos.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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