World Cup final referee hits back as fans claim last goal for Argentina shouldn’t have stood
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World Cup final referee Szymon Marciniak has hit back at claims that the last goal for Argentina shouldn’t have stood.
Lionel Messi led from the front with two goals in a thrilling 3-3 extra-time draw with France in Qatar on Sunday before the South American nation won the penalty shootout to claim the trophy.
However, the 41-year-old referee has been criticised by French press and fans who have argued that when Messi scored Argentina's last goal in extra time, it should have been disallowed.
A viral image apparently showed that two Argentina substitutes were on the field of play when Messi put the ball past France captain Hugo Lloris in the 108th minute.
French media have also pointed towards the rules of the game which, according to the FA, state: "If, after a goal is scored, the referee realises, before play restarts, an extra person was on the field of play when the goal was scored.
"The referee must disallow the goal if the extra person was a player, substitute, substituted player, sent-off player or team official of the team that scored the goal; play is restarted with a direct free kick from the position of the extra person."
But Marciniak has now hit back at the claims in a press conference. He reportedly pulled out his phone with a picture of one of Kylian Mbappe's three goals against Argentina.
"The French didn't mention this photo, where you can see how there are seven Frenchmen on the pitch when Mbappe scores a goal," he said.
Despite the controversial moment, football fans around the world were delighted to see their GOAT finally lift up the World Cup, the most coveted trophy which missing from his cabinet.
And Argentina fans will also be delighted to know that Messi has no plans on retiring from the International game any time soon.
He told Argentinian TV station TyC Sports: “Obviously I wanted to cap my career with this and I can’t ask for anything more.
“What will happen after this? I’ve managed to win the Copa America and the WorldCup almost at the end…
“I love football, it’s what I do. I enjoy being in the national team and want to continue by experiencing a few more games as a world champion.”