Danish ‘keeper Schmeichel told the referee a laser was being pointed at him BEOFRE Harry Kane took decisive penalty – as England face UEFA charge over incident
- A laser played across Kasper Schemeichel’s face before Harry Kane’s penalty
- An investigation has been opened with officials looking at stadium footage
- Goalkeeper has revealed he told the referee about the laser before the penalty
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here
Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has revealed he told the referee that a laser was being pointed at him before Harry Kane’s penalty in the Euro 2020 semi-final.
The Dane, who also plays for Leicester City, saved the England captain’s penalty before the striker scored the rebound.
However, an investigation was later opened after pictures emerged showing a fan shining a laser near Schemeichel’s eyes before the penalty.
An unmistakable green beam flickered across the Denmark keeper’s head as the England captain was lining up to take his shot and it appeared to hit one of Schmeichel’s eyes briefly.
Security teams are understood to be combing footage from inside the grounds to try and identify the culprit.
The goalkeeper has now revealed he told the referee about the laser before the penalty: ‘I did not experience it on the penalty kick because it was behind me on my right side. But I did experience it in the second half.
‘I told the referee. And he went to say something to the other officials.’
An England supporter shone a laser in Kasper Schmeichel’s face before England’s penalty as he faced Harry Kane head on
The goalkeeper has now revealed he told the referee about the laser before the penalty
The European sports group – who yesterday morning hit England with three disciplinary charges – are currently investigating the circumstances and will ask for Danish keeper’s thoughts on what happened.
But MailOnline has been told the Metropolitan Police, whose force area covers Wembley Stadium, may still launch a criminal probe.
What do UEFA’s charges against England mean?
UEFA open disciplinary proceedings where it thinks that there have been offences that break the laws of the game or their rules.
They open proceedings following official reports or when complaints have been made to them.
The proceedings are usually carried out in writing, but a formal ‘court-style’ session can be held in certain circumstances.
When UEFA make their decision relevant parties then have five days from that date to request, in writing, a decision with grounds explained.
Appeals can be lodged and punishments range from match-suspensions to warnings or fines.
The punishments that face England, if the charges are proved, are fines or warnings.
UEFA are the only authority currently investigating the circumstances, but if they find any suggestion of an offence they will inform officers.
The evidence will then be assessed and a decision taken by the police on whether it will start their own probe.
UEFA are also investigating Three Lions supporters booing during Denmark’s national anthem and setting off fireworks or flares during the Euro 2020 semi-final.
The triple-whammy allegations will be investigated by UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body and are the first time a team in this tournament a team has been charged over fans booing rivals anthems.
Punishments include fines of up to £8,000 and official warnings.
England has been fined £4,300 before for supporters disrupting another side’s national song.
The laser is the most serious issue, however.
The torch-style gadgets have been a problem at sporting events for some time – affecting Wayne Rooney and Jose Mourinho – but in recent years have been rarely seen at football matches.
There is a law relating to them being used to endanger vehicles but would not cover individuals.
It may be the offence would fall under an assault category.
In the UK people have been jailed for as long as 32 months for shining the lights at aircraft.
Only last year a man was jailed for four months for shining a laser pen into an aircraft.
Alexandru Gheorghe, 28, from Redditch, Worcestershire, dazzled the occupants of a police air service helicopter as it flew overheard with one of the devices.
Kane converted the rebound after the Denmark goalkeeper had saved his spot-kick, sending the fans into raptures
England’s Harry Kane celebrates with fans after winning the Euro 2020 football championship semifinal last night
The Danish team sing their national anthem amid boos at the start of the historic match, which has led to UEFA charges
Laser pens: the law
Owning a laser pen is not illegal but a person caught using it to dazzle others in the eyes is committing an offence.
In 2017, the Government toughened penalties on those caught targetting transport operators or drivers with a laser device.
The Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill expanded the list of vehicles beyond just planes and meant those caught shining a laser at a transport operator could face up to five years in jail.
Drivers of trains and buses, captains of boats and even pilots of hovercrafts are among those protected by the law.
Offenders may also be liable to a Community Protection Notice for anti social behaviour.
The Health Protection Agency suggests that laser pens that are more powerful than Class 2 should not be sold to the public.
In 2017, the Government called for evidence into the regulation of laser pointers after a survey of UK ophthalmologists reported more than 150 incidents of eye injuries involving laser pointers since 2013.
The Civil Aviation Authority has also reported a rise in lasers being pointed at helicopters and planes on take-off and landing.
He had used a £7 laser pen he had bought off eBay as it was flying over Stratford on its way back to its base.
And in 2019 a father-of-three went to prison for shining a £5 laser pen at a jet, endangering the lives of 180 holidaymakers on board.
Michael Bisgrove, 54, dazzled the pilot on the Beoing 737 at 2,500ft as they returned to Cardiff Airport from the Canary Islands.
A court heard how the light shone through the cockpits window, into the eyes of Captain Robin Small and the TUI crew for about a minute.
When a South Wales Police helicopter was sent to search for Bisgrove, he shone the laser into the eyes of the three officers on board as they hovered at 1,000 ft. He was jailed for 32 months.
In 2010 in America a man was jailed for three years for dazzling a sheriff and being charged with second-degree assault.
The Football Association has previously launched an investigation into fans using the pointers, with one probe launching when Wayne Rooney was targeted in 2015.
A Met spokesman told MailOnline: ‘At the moment it’s being dealt with by UEFA rather than the police.
‘It may be that if they deem it a criminal offence they would let us know and we would look at it, if appropriate.’
Supporters urged the police to get involved and investigate online.
Twitter user Tim said: ‘Whoever used the laser pointer does deserve a lifetime ban and a police caution.
‘As he saved the penalty he was thankfully unaware and unharmed.’
Tom added: ‘Those behind the lasers need to be identified and charged by the police.’
A spokesperson for the Met Police said they were looking at whether it was something they would investigate but did not know whether it had been officially reported to the force.
Jimmy added: ‘Whoever shone that laser pen at Schmeichel .
‘Should be done by the police.
‘A green laser pen was shone on his face during the penalty.’
‘How police helicopter and TUI pilot have been targeted with laser pens in Britain with culprits facing jail time’
Alexandru Gheorghe, 28, from Redditch, Worcestershire, dazzled the occupants of a police air service helicopter with a £7 laser pen he had bought off eBay as it was flying over Stratford on its way back to its base.
The pilot had to take evasive action to manoeuvre away from the beam after the cockpit was bathed in bright green light at 10.30pm on May 16, a court heard.
Gheorghe was arrested at the scene of his workplace at Maxi Haulage Limited in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, after the pilot directed officers on the ground.
Alexandru Gheorghe, 28, from Redditch, Worcestershire, shone a £7 laser pen at a police air service helicopter as it was flying over Stratford back to its base on May 16
He admitted he had been playing with his new gadget and shone it at the helicopter to ‘see what it could do’ in a moment of ‘sheer, reckless, crass stupidity’.
Gheorghe pleaded guilty to shining a laser at an aircraft and was jailed for four months at Warwick Crown Court.
Sentencing, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano said: ‘At 10.30 at night you were at your workplace, and you were playing, for want of a better word, with the laser you had bought online.
‘What you were doing was shining it up at a police helicopter. I don’t suggest for a minute you had any idea of the consequences you were causing.
‘But the statements of those who were in the helicopter made it clear there were very serious consequences indeed.
‘The pilot describes having to manoeuvre away because he was in danger of being dazzled, as others in the cockpit with him were dazzled, and as he manoeuvred away he describes the beam continuing to follow the helicopter.
‘What you were engaging in was really dangerous behaviour – and it is especially dangerous in darkness.
‘This was not momentary, because what the pilot said was that even though the aircraft was moving position, the laser continued to follow it.
In 2017, the Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill, stated those caught shining a laser at a pilot could face up to five years in jail. (Stock image)
‘When you shine a light at an aircraft of any kind in that way it endangers the lives of those in the helicopter, and potentially other people on the ground if it had had an accident.
‘I accept you are very sorry for what happened, I don’t suggest you pose a risk to the public, no rehabilitation is required, and you have strong personal mitigation.
‘But against all that I have to weigh the very serious nature of this offence and its possible consequences.
‘These items are readily available, and the effects if they are used in this way are potentially catastrophic.
‘I have an obligation to send out a very strong message that if you purchase an item of this sort and use it in this reckless way, you must go to prison.’
Prosecutor Marcus Harry said the police air service helicopter was flying over Stratford with the pilot and two officers on board when the incident took place.
He said: ‘The pilot saw a green light sparkle, which he recognised as a laser beam, and he manoeuvred in an evasive action.
‘He opted to obtain goggles in order to minimise the effect of any such light, and asked one of the police officers to retrieve them for him.’
As the officer was attempting to get the goggles, he was dazzled by the beam and had to close his eyes momentarily.
Fortunately by then the pilot had successfully manoeuvred the helicopter so the cockpit was pointing away from the light.
The pilot was requested to assist by remaining in the area so the officers in the helicopter could locate the light source using an infra-red camera.
As a result, they were able to direct officers on the ground to the Maxi Haulage site where Gheorghe was working at the time.
The pilot, who had more than 30 years’ experience, said he had been attacked many times by laser beams.
He described how they diffuse on contact with the plastic screen, ‘bathing the cockpit in bright light,’ which was particularly dangerous at night.
Nick Devine, defending, said: ‘As far as the offence is concerned, I can’t really mitigate the offence beyond saying it was a few moments of sheer, reckless, crass stupidity.’
He said Gheorghe was ‘not a man given to any kind of poor behaviour’ and was normally a responsible hard-working man with a young family.
Michael Bisgrove, 54, admitted two charges of directing a laser beam towards an aircraft and helicopter
When a police helicopter (pictured, stock image) searched for Bisgrove he shone the laser into the eyes of the three-man crew, putting their lives at risk
He added: ‘Then on this evening, for reasons even he can’t explain, he did something he would never normally have done.
‘He bought it planning to put some sparkly things on it and make it into some sort of toy.
‘He decided to see what it did. He had absolutely no idea of the effectiveness of it, or the potential consequences.
‘He was not shining it with any malicious intent.’
In 2019 a father-of-three was jailed for shining a £5 laser pen at a holiday jet – and then at the police helicopter that came looking for him.
Michael Bisgrove, 54, directed the green laser at the Boeing 737 to dazzle the pilot and crew as they were flying back to Britain from the Canary Islands.
A court heard the TUI crew were targeted at 2,500ft as the plane came in to land at Cardiff Airport from Gran Canaria in April, 2018.
Prosecutor Anthony Cheung said: ‘Captain Robin Small was flying the Boeing 737 when a laser beam was shone through the front window of the cockpit.
‘The dazzling light caused Captain Small and his crew difficulty when it shone into the cockpit for about a minute.’
When a police helicopter searched for Bisgrove he shone the laser into the eyes of the three-man crew, putting their lives at risk.
Newport Crown Court heard the pen is capable of causing retinal damage.
It was aimed at the South Wales Police helicopter three times as it hovered at 1,000ft looking for him.
Judge Richard Williams said Bisgrove, of Boverton, near Llantwit Major, south Wales, could have caused a ‘catastrophe’.
Bisgrove’s 15cm-long laser pen, with a zoom and 5km range, cost £5 to buy online. It was seized and destroyed.
He admitted two charges of directing a laser beam towards an aircraft and helicopter. He was jailed for 32 months.
Adam Sharp, defending, said: ‘He doesn’t have any interest in aeronautics or aeroplanes, this was totally out of character.
‘His actions amount to complete stupidity rather than any intent to cause harm.’
A spokesman for TUI welcomed the jail sentence and praised the aircraft’s captain and crew for its handling of the situation.
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