Referee to remain in charge of Champions League final after apology over far-right event
Szymon Marciniak spoke at an event in Poland organized by Sławomir Mentzen.
Football referee Szymon Marciniak will officiate in the Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan after he apologized for speaking at an event in Poland organized by a far-right politician.
Marciniak — who refereed the World Cup final between Argentina and France in December — attended the Everest business conference in Katowice on May 29. The event was organized by far-right leader Sławomir Mentzen, who in 2019 used the slogan “We stand against Jews, gays, abortion, taxation and the European Union” and in 2021 produced a beer named White IPA Matters, which mocked the Black Lives Matter movement.
Marciniak’s attendance at the event was first disclosed by the anti-racist organization Never Again and reported on by the Guardian.
UEFA, European football’s governing body, said in a statement on Friday that it has “diligently investigated the allegations” and “we unequivocally reject the values promoted by a group linked to this conference.”
It added: “After conducting a thorough review, we have received a statement from Mr. Marciniak expressing his deepest apologies and providing a clarification regarding his involvement in the event.”
In his own statement Friday, Marciniak said: “I want to express my deepest apologies for my involvement and any distress or harm it may have caused.
“Upon reflection and further investigation, it has become evident that I was gravely misled and completely unaware of the true nature and affiliations of the event in question.”