Polish referee Szymon Marciniak will remain as referee for the Champions League final between Man City and Inter Milan despite a controversial affiliation with a Polish far-right political party.
This is announced by UEFA, via FCInterNews, who confirm that the 42-year-old will referee the final.
Yesterday, it emerged that UEFA were looking into an appearance that Marciniak had made at an event organized by a controversial politician in his native Poland.
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 promotes 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.
UEFA Will Not Take Marciniak Off Man City Vs Inter Milan Clash
Polish anti-racism group brought Marciniak’s attendance of the “Everest” event to UEFA’s attention.
They noted that the 42-year-old referee was on promotional materials for the event, wearing FIFA refereeing kit. A poster for the event also announce Marciniak as a key-note speaker.
UEFA investigated the matter. The European football governing body reportedly was considering taking Marciniak off of the Champions League final.
This would be in response to the Pole’s participation in an event deemed to be at odds with the organization’s values.
UEFA could have even stopped using Marciniak in European competition altogether.
However, this has not been the case. Rather, Marciniak will remain as the referee for the clash between Inter and Man City in Instanbul later this month.
Marciniak Denies Far-Right Links
UEFA’s decision to allow Marciniak to referee the Champions League follows a statement by the 42-year-old on his alleged far-right ties.
The Polish referee took to Instagram to react to the matter, via FCInterNews.
He writes, “In relation to today’s media news, I declare that I have never endorsed or legitimized any party, political organization or individual politician, and I strongly disassociate myself from any extreme, racist or antisemitic views, statements, and actions.”
He continues that “Regarding today’s media coverage, I declare that I have never supported or legitimized any political party, organization or individual politician.”
Marciniak concludes that “I strongly and clearly dissociate myself from any kind of radical, racist, or antisemitic opinion, statement or action.”
Evidently, UEFA have accepted Marciniak’s defense. Despite having considered the possibility of taking the Polish referee off the final, they will not do so after investigation.