UEFA satisfied with non-handball call on Cucurella during Spain's Euro 2024 win over Germany

UEFA is satisfied with Anthony Taylor’s decision not to award Germany a penalty during their 2-1 quarter-final defeat by Spain on Friday evening.

In the second half of extra-time, with the score 1-1, a goal-bound shot from Germany’s Jamal Musiala struck Marc Cucurella on the arm in the box. Taylor waved away Germany’s appeals and Mikel Merino later scored the winning goal.

Premier League referee Taylor has received significant criticism for his refusal to give a penalty — including from Germany head coach Julian Nagelsmann and the German media.  Former Germany international Michael Ballack, working for Magenta TV, described it as “a clear wrong decision”.

“All the criteria for a penalty are met,” he added. “The arm is outstretched, a clear advantage, and yet there will be experts who see it differently.”

Taylor has also been attacked for leaving the MHP Arena without commenting on the incident. Bild, the German tabloid, noted that he left the stadium 80 minutes after the game finished and accused him of “fleeing the scene of the dispute”.

Englishman Taylor attracted the ire of many (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Englishman Taylor attracted the ire of many (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Immediately after the game, Nagelsmann expressed his frustration with the decision. “The penalty we got against Denmark was much less of a penalty,” he told German broadcaster ARD. “I cannot understand why it was not evaluated, even though there were 48,000 replays.”



The Briefing: Spain 2-1 Germany – Mikel Merino’s late, late winner dumps out Euro 2024 hosts

But UEFA has told The Athletic that the correct decision was made because, as per the refereeing guidelines it issued before the tournament, Cucurella’s hand was not in an unnatural position at the time that it was struck.

In a June 12th briefing led by Roberto Rosetti, UEFA’s head of referees, a range of examples were given as to what would and would not constitute a penalty. In the example most similar to the Musiala-Cucurella incident, which showed a defender being struck by the ball with his arm close to his body and in a near-vertical position, Rosetti said that he did not want to see a penalty awarded.

While the decision to punish Joachim Andersen in Germany’s last-16 win over Denmark for what looked like a harsher offence, the difference — according to the UEFA guidelines — was the position of the Crystal Palace defender’s hand, which was unnaturally making his body bigger.

While Taylor and Stuart Attwell, the VAR on duty in Stuttgart on Friday night, have also been criticised for not seeming to review the incident, UEFA is satisfied that a proper evaluation did take place and that proper procedure was followed throughout the game.



Germany are out – and now it’s time to wake up

(Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images)

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