Fact Check

Was Italy Disqualified From UEFA Championship?

Sorry, England fans.

Published Jul 13, 2021

Italy was disqualified from the UEFA, making England the champion, after an ineligible player took the field.

On July 11, 2021, Italy defeated England at the UEFA European Championship in a dramatic shootout. As England fans mourned the loss, a glimmer of hope formed in the shape of a social media post claiming that Italy had been disqualified for playing an ineligible player and that England had been retroactively named the European champs:

This is not a genuine piece of "breaking news." Italy was not disqualified, and England did not win the UEFA championship. 

If this truly was "breaking news," articles about this dramatic turn of events would be popping up all across sports magazines and websites. However, there has been no credible reporting about this disqualification. 

Furthermore, the claims made in this post don't line up with the rules of UEFA. A July 4, 2021, article published to UEFA.com explained how yellow cards and suspensions would work during the tournament. Article 52.05 explained that yellow cards received during early matches would not carry over past the quarterfinals and that players who had received two yellow cards during the tournament would not be suspended from the final match. 

When are yellow cards wiped?

Single cautions from matches in the final tournament expire on completion of the quarter-finals. They are not carried forward to the semi-finals.

Does this mean a player cannot be banned for the final as a result of two yellow cards picked up during the course of the final tournament?

Correct. The slate was wiped clean after the quarter-finals, meaning a player can only be suspended for the final if they receive a red card in the semi-finals.

If, for some reason, this single Facebook post still has you convinced that Italy was disqualified and England was retroactively named the UEFA champs, here are a few social media posts from the Italy national football team celebrating their hard-earned victory:

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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