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World Cup final VAR official defends key decisions in Argentina vs France: 'When you're sitting, drinking a beer & eating crisps, everything seems simple'

15:54 GMT 24/12/2022
Lionel Messi Szymon Marciniak 2022
The official in charge of VAR during the World Cup final has defended the key decisions his team made during Argentina's victory against France.
  • Referee decisions criticised in World Cup final
  • France argued Lionel Messi goal should be disallowed
  • VAR official defended calls

WHAT HAPPENED? Many in France complained about some of the calls made by the officials in their penalty shootout loss, with L'Equipe arguing that Lionel Messi's 3-2 goal in extra time should have been disallowed. But VAR referee Tomasz Kwiatkowski says his team had some calls to make and is happy with how they dealt with the pressure.

WHAT THEY SAID: "There were six goals where there were several tight situations in the crucial phase of attacks," he said, according to RMC Sport. "I had three penalties which were very well dictated by [referee] Szymon Marciniak. I had two situations with a potential red card and a super-difficult dive of Marcus Thuram, and remember that sometimes a dive is in the balance with a penalty."

He added, hitting back at critics: "When you're sitting in a warm chair, drinking a beer and eating crisps, everything seems simple, he tackles about the criticisms leveled against the refereeing of this final. In addition to the situations that I have mentioned, I checked a lot of small things to possibly help, for example, a quick indication of a number or a small hint about a decision."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Kwiatkowski is not the only official from the game to speak out. The final's main referee, Marciniak, responded to the claims from France that Messi's goal should have been disallowed because there were too many Argentina players on the field. The official pointed out that by that logic, one of Mbappe's goals should have been chalked off.


WHAT NEXT FOR FRANCE? France will begin to rebuild after their World Cup failure when they begin their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.