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Warm welcome home for Polish referee after World Cup

21.12.2022 23:30
Szymon Marciniak, the Polish referee who officiated last Sunday’s World Cup final between Argentina and France, has received a warm welcome on his return to Poland from Qatar. 
Szymon Marciniak.
Szymon Marciniak.PAP/EPA/Friedemann Vogel

Marciniak and his assistant referees were surrounded by reporters after landing at Warsaw’s Chopin Airport on Wednesday, the sportowefakty.wp.pl website reported.

At a news conference, Poland’s best-known “man in the middle” told the media: “We were delighted to be chosen to officiate the World Cup final.”

He added: “Thankfully, after the final, the talk is about the beautiful goals and the thrilling spectacle that the players created, rather than about the refereeing team.”

Argentina won the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, beating France on penalties in a drama-filled final. 

The game finished 2-2 after 90 minutes and 3-3 after extra time, with Lionel Messi getting a brace for Argentina and Kylian Mbappé bagging a hat-trick for France.

Marciniak, 41, was widely praised for his handling of the showpiece match, with many saying it was one of the best performances by an official in a game of that magnitude. 

He told reporters on Wednesday: “We were very tired after the final, mentally rather than physically, although the match took its toll. I ran almost 14 kilometres. There was a lot of running and a lot of game management. It’s nice when the players fear you, but at the same time like you and comply with your decisions.”

“We are taking things calmly," Marciniak said.

He added: "We need to maintain our performance. We’ll have some rest now, but we’ll be back soon.” 

One of his assistant referees, Tomasz Listkiewicz, is the son of Michał Listkiewicz, a former referee and ex-head of the Polish Football Association (PZPN), news outlets noted.

In 1990, Michał Listkiewicz was one of the linesmen for that year’s World Cup final in which West Germany beat Diego Maradona’s Argentina in Rome, Italy, to claim the world title.   

Later on Wednesday, Marciniak and his team were hosted by Poland’s top football official, Cezary Kulesza, sportowefakty.wp.pl reported.


Source: PAP, sportowefakty.wp.pl, eurosport.tvn24.pl