In one of the greatest games in football history, Argentina, led by star Lionel Messi, won their third World Cup on Sunday as they beat France, the defending champions, 4-2 on penalties after drawing 3-3 in extra time in front of some 88,000 fans at the stadium and hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide.
European football's governing body UEFA congratulated the Polish referee and his team of officials "on a fantastic final."
Cezary Kulesza, head of the Polish Football Association (PZPN), the national governing body for the sport, voiced "respect and admiration" for the Polish officials, who he said "did an exemplary job in the stunning World Cup final."
The Argentina vs. France final was Marciniak’s third match as a referee at the tournament in Qatar, after a group-stage game between France and Denmark and a round-of-16 match between Argentina and Australia.
Marciniak, 41, was the first Pole to referee a World Cup final.
He was assisted by Polish linesmen Paweł Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz at Lusail Stadium near Doha, Qatar, on Sunday afternoon.
Assistant referee Tomasz Listkiewicz, Lionel Messi of Argentina, fourth official Ismail Elfath, referee Szymon Marciniak, Hugo Lloris of France, and assistant referee Pawel Sokolnicki pose ahead of the World Cup final between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium in Qatar, December 18, 2022. Photo: EPA/Noushad Thekkayil
Meanwhile, Poland’s Tomasz Kwiatkowski was a video assistant referee for the match.
'I’m very proud of myself and my team'
Marciniak said ahead of the game: “Being the referee in a World Cup final … it’s unbelievable, to be honest. I’m very proud of myself and my team because, of course, it’s not only Szymon Marciniak, it’s a great team."
Former international referee Michał Listkiewicz said the choice of Marciniak for the 2022 World Cup final was "the greatest success for Polish referees in history and a great success for Polish football.”
World football’s governing body FIFA said that Marciniak made history "as the first man from his country" to take charge of a World Cup final.
In 2018, Marciniak officiated two games at the World Cup in Russia.
He started a career as a professional football referee in 2006. Five years later he became a FIFA-listed referee.
Source: TVP, IAR, PAP