UEFA confirms Polish referee will keep Champions League final role

Mike Egerton/PAP/PA

UEFA, European football's governing body, has decided to allow Polish referee Szymon Marciniak to officiate at the Champions League final on June 10, the organisation announced on Friday.

Marciniak had faced accusations of intolerance over his reported attendance at a far-right political event in May, leading to speculation he may be withdrawn from the title clash between Manchester City and Inter Milan in Istanbul.

"UEFA confirms that Mr. Marciniak will fulfil his role as the referee for the 2023 UEFA Champions League final," the soccer body said in a statement on its website.

"UEFA has diligently investigated the allegations surrounding Szymon Marciniak's participation in an event organised in Katowice on 29 May 2023," UEFA wrote. "These allegations are taken with utmost seriousness by UEFA and the entire football community as we unequivocally reject the values promoted by a group linked to this conference. Yesterday, we committed to gathering all relevant information and sought urgent clarification on this matter.

"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. We believe it is crucial to share his statement to address the concerns and ensure transparency."

In the letter to UEFA, posted on their website, Marciniak explained that he had not realised the event was affiliated with a right-wing organisation, which held views "entirely contrary to my personal beliefs and the principles I strive to uphold in my life."

Marciniak said that had he known of the event's associations he would have "categorically declined the invitation," going on to express "unwavering support for the values championed by UEFA" and his "commitment to combating discrimination in football."