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World Cup final referee offers perfect response to claims that Lionel Messi’s extra-time goal should’ve been disallowed

Szymon Marciniak, the referee for the World Cup final, has responded to claims that Lionel Messi’s extra-time goal should have been disallowed.

  • Messi made it 3-2 in extra time
  • French media claimed goal shouldn’t have stood
  • Marciniak highlighted France’s encroachment

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi’s strike made it 3-2 in extra-time before Kylian Mbappe’s second penalty of the evening made it 3-3 in the dying embers, before Argentina were victorious 4-2 in the shootout. French media after the match claimed Argentina’s third goal shouldn’t have stood due to the encroachment of substitutes on the pitch – a claim that has since been refuted – and Marciniak offered a brilliant response when questioned.

WHAT THEY SAID?: “The French didn’t mention this photo, where you can see how there are seven Frenchmen on the pitch when Mbappe scores a goal,” the Polish official stated, holding a picture of the encroachment to reporters.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Marciniak’s quip should put to bed any controversy over Messi’s second and Argentina’s third. The response from France’s media isn’t the only backlash to follow Sunday’s memorable World Cup final, though, as the French FA have since launched a complaint over Argentina’s celebrations back in Buenos Aires, which saw goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez holding a toy baby with Mbappe’s face attached to it.

WHAT NEXT? An objectively well-refereed final from Marciniak should see the Pole take charge of important matches in Europe and beyond.