REFEREE Szymon Marciniak WILL officiate this year’s Champions League final after Uefa probed alleged links with a far-right politician.
His role in the all-important tie between Manchester City and Inter Milan was in doubt following allegations that he appeared as a speaker at a far-right event in Poland.
The Pole is one of the most experienced referees in world football and took charge of the biggest match of them all – the World Cup final between Argentina and France back in December.
Who is Szymon Marciniak?
Born in Plock, Marciniak had an odd path into refereeing.
Starting out as a player, he was so incensed at being sent off in one match that he told the referee in a foul-mouthed tirade that he was the worst he’d ever seen.
And the official replied: “If you think you can do better – you try it!”
So he did.
Marciniak rose through the amateur ranks to make his Ekstraklasa debut in 2009.
He become a Fifa-listed referee in 2011, which made him eligible for selection at Europa League, Champions League and internationals.
After taking charge of the Under-21 Euro 2015 final, he made his major championship bow the following summer in France.
There Marciniak reffed Spain vs Czech Republic, Iceland vs Austria in the group stage, as well as Germany vs Slovakia in the knockout phase.
What tournaments has he officiated at?
This will be the Pole’s second experience of a World Cup, after getting his cards out at Russia 2018.
He has Euro 2016 experience under his belt – but took charge of Liverpool, Manchester City and Spurs games in this season’s Champions League.
At World Cup 2018 he reffed Argentina vs Iceland and Germany vs Sweden.
He also took charge of the Uefa Super Cup match between Real and Atletico Madrid in 2018.
Marciniak officiated Manchester City’s Champions League semi-final mauling of Real Madrid in May 2023.