Referee Szymon Marciniak could be taken off the Champions League final between Inter Milan and Manchester City later this month.
This according to UK news outlet The Guardian, who report that UEFA are investigating alleged links between the Polish official and a far-right political party in his home country, and could decide to remove the official from the final in Istanbul in response.
On May 29, Marciniak attended an event named “Everest.” The conference is a “networking event” organized by Polish politician Slawomir Mentzen.
Mentzen is the leader of the Confederation Party in Poland. The party is notorious for its racist, homophobic, and antisemitic far-right positions.
The Confederation Party is associated with the slogan “We stand against Jews, gays, abortion, taxation and the European Union.”
They are behind a number of provocative campaigns and posters promoting extreme racism and bigotry.
Marciniak Taken Off Of Inter Milan Vs Manchester City UCL Final?
Marciniak had been due to officiate the upcoming Champions League final between Inter and City.
The 42-year-old Polish referee has extensive experience including the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.
However, Marciniak’s suitability to referee the Champions League final is in doubt due to his association with Mentzen and the Confederation Party.
Anti-racist organization Never Again brought Marciniak’s presence at the conference to UEFA’s attention. They informed UEFA Marciniak is displayed prominently on promotional posters for the “Everest” event.
This included a claim that the 42-year-old would be present as a key-note speaker. There was also a photo of Marciniak in a FIFA refereeing kit used in promotional materials for the event.
Subsequently, UEFA have issued an official response to the allegations. They write that “Uefa is aware of the allegations surrounding Szymon Marciniak and is seeking urgent clarification.
“Uefa and the whole football community abhor the ‘values’ that are promoted by the group in question and takes these allegations very seriously.
“A further announcement will be made tomorrow, after reviewing all the evidence” the statement read.