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World Cup final referee responds perfectly to claims Lionel Messi goal

World Cup final referee Szymon Marciniak has come under attack in France over his officiating during the final, which saw Les Bleus miss out on back-to-back titles after losing on penalties to Argentina.

Referee Szymon Marciniak has hit back at French accusations of bias and that he should have disallowed Argentina’s third goal during the World Cup final.

The Polish official has been widely praised for his performance during football’s biggest showpiece event, in which Argentina claimed a third world title, defeating France on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw in Qatar. Lionel Messi (2) and Angel Di Maria found the net for the Albiceleste, while Kylian Mbappe struck a remarkable hat-trick for Les Bleus, with spot-kicks ultimately proving decisive.

However, in the days since, Marciniak’s performance has come under increased scrutiny, notably from the French side of the fence. Indeed, over 200,000 French fans have signed a petition to get the match replayed due to perceived ‘mistakes’.

The most notable of those is that Messi’s second goal of the game – which made it 3-2 to the eventual winners in extra-time – should have been chalked off, with match footage showing two substitutes were on the field of play as the Argentina captain hooked the ball over the line.

L’Equipe have fanned the flames, with an article ‘Why Argentina’s third goal shouldn’t have been awarded’.

They subsequently drew attention to Law 3, Paragraph 9 of the Laws of Football, which reads: “If, after a goal is scored, the referee becomes aware before play resumes that an additional person was on the pitch at the time the goal was scored: the referee must disallow the goal if the extra person was: a player, substitute, substituted player, sent off player or official of the team who scored the goal; play must be restarted with a direct free kick from the place where the extra person was.”

But Marciniak, speaking at a press event upon his welcome back to Poland, hit back at their comments. Pulling his phone from his pocket, he declared: “The French didn’t mention this photo, where you can see how there are seven Frenchmen on the pitch when Mbappe scores a goal.”

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