World Cup final ref responds to claims Messi goal shouldn't have stood

World Cup final referee Szymon Marciniak hits back at claims that Argentina goal shouldn’t have stood… as he shows picture on his phone of ‘SEVEN French subs on the pitch’ as Mbappe scored

  • Lionel Messi scored twice in the final, but his second goal proved controversial 
  • Two Argentina substitutes appeared to be on the pitch before the ball went in
  • The French press have argued that the goal should have been disallowed
  • The referee though has hit back at the claims during a press conference 
  • He stated that seven French substitutes were on the pitch for one of their goals

World Cup final referee Szymon Marciniak has broken his silence on claims that Argentina’s third goal against France should have been disallowed.

The Polish official, 41, has faced claims from French media that he should have chalked off the goal because ‘two emotional substitutes’ ran onto the pitch before Lionel Messi’s strike crossed the line.

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

French press and fans argued Lionel Messi’s second goal in the World Cup final shouldn’t have stood as two Argentina substitutes appeared to enter the pitch before the shot went in

But Szymon Marciniak claims there were seven French substitutes on the pitch for one of Kylian Mbappe’s goals and showed a picture of it during a press conference

French players celebrate on the pitch after Kylian Mbappe scored his second goal of the game

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 Kylian 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 half time with goals from Messi and Angel Di Maria, Argentina were pegged back when Mbappe scored twice in two minutes to take the game to extra time. 

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

L’Equipe feel the goal should have been disallowed due to the substitutes entering the pitch

Messi was made to wait but the goal was eventually allowed after being checked by VAR

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

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 had just managed to stay onside, leading to wild celebrations amongst the Argentina players and fans.

Mbappe scored a hat-trick but there will be arguments that one of his goals shouldn’t have stood

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 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 his goals should have also been disallowed.  

Mbappe scored a third goal deep into extra-time before Argentina went on to win their third World Cup via a penalty shoot-out. 

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