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Who is World Cup final referee Szymon Marciniak? League, background and experiences from key FIFA appointment

12:41 AM GMT+4 16/12/2022
Szymon Marciniak
Everything you need to know about Polish referee Szymon Marciniak who will take charge of the 2022 World Cup final between Argentina and France.

Lionel Messi will be looking to finally add that most glorious and yet most elusive prize to his trophy collection on Sunday, December 18 in what may well be the most important game of his career.

However, Argentina will have to overcome France if they are to win this year's World Cup. At 23 years of age, Kylian Mbappe can become the youngest player two win the tournament back-to-back since Pele did with Brazil at 21.

Both nations are potentially just 90 minutes away from a lifetime of adulation and referee Szymon Marciniak has been tasked with taking charge of it all.

Who is the referee for Argentina vs France?

Szymon Marciniak is the referee who will officiate the World Cup 2022 final between Argentina and France.

Born on January 7, 1981, the 41-year-old became a FIFA-listed official in 2013 after starting his career in the Polish top flight in 2009.

Which other World Cup 2022 games has he refereed?

Nov 26France 2-1 DenmarkGroup D
Dec 3Argentina 2-1 AustraliaLast-16

Marciniak evidently did enough to impress when he oversaw the group stage match between France and Denmark, as well as the last-16 game between Argentina and Australia. He gave out five yellow cards, no red cards and no penalties in total across the two games.

Who are the assistant referees & fourth official?

FIFA referee chairman Pierluigi Collina has selected the 41-year-old to take charge of the final game to be played in Qatar at the winter tournament. He will be assisted by Pawel Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz. The fourth official will be USA's Ismail Elfath. And on VAR will be Poland's Tomasz Kwiatkowski.

The bigger picture

European football fans may well recognise the referee from his Champions League exploits this season. For example, he took charge of the 3-3 thriller between Barcelona and Inter at Camp Nou and the 2-1 Porto defeat of Atletico Madrid which sent Rojiblancos out of Europe – he sent off Mehdi Taremi in that game for diving.

He also took charge of the Super Cup between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in 2018 and oversaw two games in the 2018 World Cup, in one of which he sent off Germany's Jerome Boateng.

The verdict

Up to this stage in the tournament, the Polish referee has managed to get through his games without sparking any major controversy. That's more than can be said about a few officials – we certainly won't forget Antonio Mateu Lahoz and his performance in Argentina's World Cup quarter-final against Netherlands any time soon – and so this looks to be a wise appointment from FIFA.