Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Why Marc Cucurella is being booed in Spain vs France at Euro 2024

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Marc Cucurella was booed by fans during Spain vs France (Reuters)

Marc Cucurella is being booed with every touch during Spain’s Euro 2024 semi final against France on Tuesday evening.

The Chelsea left-back has started in all but one of Spain’s games at Euro 2024 and has been one of La Roja’s surprise performers during the tournament.

Cucurella kept his place on the left side of Spain’s defence for their semi final against France but was surprisingly booed and jeered by fans inside the Allianz Arena whenever he touched the ball.

France supporters were initially blamed for the negative reaction towards Cucurella, however, it was actually neutral German fans who were venting their anger after the Chelsea defender was not punished for a handball during Germany’s defeat to Spain in the quarter final last Friday.

‘We think we’ve worked out why Marc Cucurella is getting booed, by the way,’ BBC commentator Steve Wilson said during the first half.

Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - Quarter Final - Spain v Germany - Stuttgart Arena, Stuttgart, Germany - July 5, 2024 Germany's Jamal Musiala shoots at goal and hits the arm of Spain's Marc Cucurella REUTERS/Lee Smith
Germany were furious after they were denied a handball in their quarter-final defeat to Spain at Euro 2024 (Reuters)

‘The reason is because, the German press have made a lot of this, in the game against Germany, they had a shot which hit Cucurella on the hand inside the penalty area.

‘They felt the hand was away from the body, it was on the front page of the German papers the other day, I thought he was getting booed by the French fans. It’s not, it’s the German fans who feel they should be in this semi final.’

UEFA later declared that the decision from Premier League referee Anthony Taylor was correct because ‘Cucurella’s hand was not in an unnatural position at the time it was hit by the ball’.

However, Germany supporters remain furious with the decision and over 30,000 fans have signed an online petition which demands UEFA to replay the quarter-final tie with Spain.

Speaking about the decision after his side’s exit, Germany head coach, Julian Nagelsmann, said: ‘There is a rule and I hope there is no wrong decision.

‘They applied the rule and it was not a penalty. I do not feel cheated. For me, the question is about making it more practical, more logical, in terms of how this handball rule is assessed.

‘You look at the hand, if it is at 3 o’clock, if it is a bit higher or a bit lower. But there are people with bigger muscles than me, different movements.’

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