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24th Dec 2022

World Cup referee hits back at claims that Argentina goal should have been disallowed

Steve Hopkins

Questions are now being asked about one of Mbappe’s goals.

World Cup final referee Szymon Marciniak has hit back at claims that Argentina’s third goal against France during the World Cup final should have been disallowed – and pointed out something the French have kept quiet about.

The Polish official has faced claims from French media that he shouldn’t have allowed the goal because “two emotional substitutes” ran onto the pitch before Lionel Messi scored. Argentina beat France on penalties last Sunday after playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw over the course of 120 minutes.

Almost 220,000 French fans have signed a petition for the final to be replayed due to Marciniak’s perceived “mistakes,” but the 41-year-old struck back at the criticism at a press conference.

According to Zach Lowy, Marciniak pulled out his phone with a picture which he says was at the time that Kylian Mbappe scored one of his three goals against Argentina.

‘The French didn’t mention this photo, where you can see how there are seven Frenchmen on the pitch when Mbappe scores a goal,” he reportedly said.

Having established a two-goal lead before half time with goals from Messi and Angel Di Maria, Argentina were stunned when Mbappe scored twice in two minutes forcing the game into extra time.

Then, in the 108th minute, as Lautaro Martinez’s attempt was saved by Hugo Lloris, Messi tapped home the rebound from close range.

French outlet L’Equipe believed the goal should have been disallowed.

Underneath the headline, ‘Why Argentina’s third goal shouldn’t have been awarded’, they claim that ‘two emotionally charged substitutes’ entered the pitch before Messi’s shot crossed the line which is ‘strictly prohibited’.

The goal was checked by VAR for offside, but replays showed that Martinez was onside.

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

Marciniak’s claims that French substitutes were on the pitch when Mbappe scored suggest that one of his goals should have also been disallowed. Mbappe scored a hat-trick third goal in extra-time before Argentina secured their first WC victory since 1986 in a 4-2 penalty shootout.

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