Dion Dublin SLAMS decision to penalise Rico Lewis as North Macedonia take the lead against England… while Joe Cole says referee ‘wants to be the star of the show’

  • North Macedonia took a surprising lead against England from the penalty spot
  • Man City youngster Rico Lewis committed a costly foul on his England debut
  • It’s the world against Everton – it could encourage the players to stay up – IAKO

Dion Dublin labeled North Macedonia’s penalty against England on Friday as ‘never a penalty’ and criticized Three Lions defenders for being ‘stupid’.

England surprisingly fell behind against the European minnows after Rico Lewis was adjudged to have fouled Bojan Miovski after catching him with a trailing arm.

The Manchester City youngster who jumped to win an aerial ball on his England debut lightly struck his North Macedonian opponent in the face, who made the most of the challenge.

Referee Filip Glova initially allowed play to continue before being told by VAR to view the incident on the field monitor and then awarding the penalty.

Former England international Dublin looked on in Skopje and opposed the referee’s decision that allowed Enis Bardhi to open the scoring.

Rico Lewis (center) is said to have fouled North Macedonia’s Bojan Miovski for a penalty

Enis Bardhi opened the scoring for the hosts after converting the rebounded penalty

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Dion Dublin was furious that the penalty ‘should never’ have been given for Lewis’s challenge

‘That can’t be a punishment. I understand the hand to face, but football is a contact sport. Of course not.

“Oh my word. I’m very surprised the ref gave that, really. Hand to face, I understand that, but how else are you supposed to jump? Never any punishment for me, never,” he said angrily.

England and Everton goalkeeper Pickford produced a strong save to deny the initial penalty and became the first England player to save a penalty in open play since Joe Hart denied Ronaldinho in 2017.

However, the England defenders were not the quickest to react to the rebound as Bardhi pounced on the loose ball and scored to give the hosts a shock lead.

Dublin criticized England’s slow response, adding: “It wasn’t a great penalty, Pickford kept it out, his defenders were on mute.”

Former Chelsea and England international Joe Cole similarly condemned the set-piece award and slammed the match referee for wanting to be the ‘star of the show’.

Cole explained: ‘Absurd penalty, the referee sees it in normal time. The referee we found wants to be the star of the show.”

The penalty was awarded after VAR intervention ruled that Lewis had committed a foul


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Dion DublinJordan Pickford