UEFA investigates behavior of Polish referee who whistles final Champions League at extreme right event


The European football association UEFA has launched an investigation into Szymon Marciniak, the Polish referee who is to officiate the final of the Champions League between Manchester City and Inter Milan on Saturday 10 June. Marciniak was a guest speaker on Monday at an event organized by the far-right Polish politician Slawomir Mentzen.

Guy Van Den Langenbergh / Source: The Guardian

Marciniak is not just any old man. He previously refereed the World Cup final between Argentina and France and enjoys a great deal of respect within the global referee guild. So last Monday he acted as keynote speaker at a political meeting of Slawomir Mentzen. This Polish economist earns his daily bread as a tax adviser, but is politically known for his controversial statements. He once described his party as ‘we are against Jews, gays, abortion, taxes and the European Union.’

In 2021, he released a beer called ‘Count White IPAs’, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

On Monday, May 29, Mentzen organized a meeting under the name ‘Everest’, which was advertised as a networking event with accompanying beer tasting. Marciniak was announced on social media as a ‘brilliant speaker’. Political opponents and anti-racism activists saw it mainly as an evening in which Mentzen mainly wanted to find political support.

The British newspaper The Guardian contacted UEFA about this. In a statement, UEFA said it was aware of the allegations against Szymon Marciniak and is seeking clarification. UEFA and the football community detest the ‘values’ promoted by the organization and take the allegations seriously. A new statement will be made after analysis of the facts.”

Marciniak’s presence at the event was brought to light by the anti-racism movement ‘Nooit Meer’. We are appalled by Marciniak’s public association with Mentzen and his far-right political movement. “This is incompatible with the basic principles of fair play such as equality and respect. We ask the referee to admit his mistake. If he doesn’t, FIFA and UEFA will have to draw their own conclusions.”

UEFA is expected to release a new communiqué today. The investigation is likely to be led by ‘Chief of Football’ Zvonomir Boban and referee boss Roberto Rosetti.

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