The FIFA World Cup final saw Argentina producing a phenomenal performance as they defeated France on penalties to lift a third title. Lionel Messi scored a brace as he ended a long wait for a World Cup title, even as France’s forward Kylian Mbappe put out a dominant performance with a hat-trick. Messi had opened the scoring with a penalty in the 23rd minute and Angel Di Maria doubled Argentina’s lead 13 minutes later; however, Mbappe brought France back in the game with two quick goals in as many minutes (80′ and 81′).
While Messi scored again in extra time to give Argentina the lead again, Mbappe coolly converted the penalty with three minutes remaining on the clock to force a shootout. Argentina eventually won 4-2 on penalties after Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni missed penalties.
However, a week after the final, the referee from the game – Szymon Marciniak – made a startling revelation about a “mistake” he committed during the final.
“Of course, there were mistakes in this final,” he told Sport.PL. “I interrupted the French counter-attack after a bad tackle by Marcos Acuna.
“I was afraid that the fouled player wanted to unwind, and I read it wrong because nothing happened, and you could give an advantage and then come back with a card.
“It’s hard. In a game like this, I take such a mistake in the dark. The important thing is that there were no big mistakes,” said Marciniak.
Earlier, French newspaper L’Equipe mentioned the International Football Association Board’s Law 3, paragraph 9, which includes that the referee must disallow the goal if a substituted player was on the field of play when the goal was scored, referring to Lionel Messi’s goal in the extra time of the final.
Marciniak responded to the criticism in a unique manner.
He pulled up a screenshot on his phone that showed seven French substitutes had entered the field while they were celebrating one of Mbappe’s goals. “The French didn’t mention this photo, where you can see how there are seven Frenchmen on the pitch when Mbappe scores a goal,” Marciniak had said as he held up the phone while speaking to reporters.