Tuesday, February 27News That Matters

World Cup final referee speaks on claims Lionel Messi goal shouldn’t have stood

World Cup final referee Szymon Marciniak has now opened up on claims that Argentina’s third goal against France should have been disallowed.

The Polish official has faced claims from French media that he should have canceled the goal because ‘two emotional substitutes’ ran onto the pitch before Lionel Messi’s effort crossed the line.

Over 200,000 French supporters have signed a petition for the final to be replayed due to his reported ‘mistakes,’ but Marciniak has hit back at the criticism thrown in his direction.

During a press conference, as reported by Zach Lowy, he pulled out his phone with a picture which he says was at the time that Mbappe scored one of his three goals against Argentina. 

He 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.’

Having raced into a two-goal lead before the break with goals from Messi and Di Maria, Argentina were pegged back when Mbappe scored two goal in two minutes to take the game to extra time. 

The controversial moment then arrived in the 108th minute as Martinez was played through on goal. His effort was saved by Hugo Lloris, but Messi was on hand to tap home the rebound. 

French outlet L’Equipe believed the goal should have been canceled by Marciniak and his team of officials.

The goal was checked by VAR for offside, but replays revealed that Martinez had just managed to stay onside, leading to huge celebrations amongst the Argentina stars and fans.

Whether VAR also looked at the substitutes going onto the pitch is unknown, but L’Equipe claims a free-kick should have been awarded to France by the letter of the law.

They point out that Law 3, Paragraph 9 of the Laws of Football 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.’

The referee’s claims that French substitutes were on the pitch when Mbappe, suggest that one of their goals should have been disallowed. 

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