At the end of last year, Marciniak managed the final of the World Championship in Qatar. However, another highlight of his career was in jeopardy after Polish anti-racism organization Never Again alerted the European Football Union to his recent attendance at a conference.
UEFA said today that it had accepted Marciniak’s apology and explanation. She also added that the Never Again NGO had also requested that Marciniak be left in charge of the prestigious duel.
“I want to express my deepest apologies for my involvement and for any trouble or harm it may have caused,” Marciniak said in a statement released by UEFA. He said he had no idea the event was linked to Slawomir Mentzen, the leader of the far-right Confederation party. According to human rights organizations, it promotes anti-Semitic, homophobic and sexist views.
“I had no idea that the conference was connected to the Polish extreme right. If I had been aware of this, I would have categorically refused the invitation,” said Marciniak. Even before UEFA’s decision, the Polish government stood up as a referee. In a letter to UEFA, Sports Minister Kamil Bortniczuk wrote, among other things, that Marciniak did not even meet the controversial politician during the event and that his forty-five-minute speech was only of a “business, motivational and inspirational nature”.
The 42-year-old Marciniak, who is regarded as one of the world’s best referees, was appointed by UEFA to referee the Champions League final last week.