“He deserved the final.” Former head of Polish referees on UEFA’s decision on Marciniak

“He deserved the final.” Former head of Polish referees on UEFA’s decision on Marciniak

– Szymon Marciniak was excellent during Euro 2024 and he deserved to be in the final – Zbigniew Przesmyski, long-time chairman of the PZPN Referees’ Board (2011-2021)

Szymon Marciniak  was the favourite to referee the Euro 2024 final, but on Thursday UEFA announced that Francois Letexier would be the main referee of the match deciding the European championship . The Pole will be the fourth official on Sunday.

Letexier’s nomination is a surprise, because if someone other than a Pole was to be appointed to lead the final, another Frenchman – Clement Turpin – was mentioned in this context. For the 35-year-old, it is the greatest honor in his career so far. The most important match he has led so far was the match for the European Super Cup 2023.

If the risk was assessed and it was decided that Letexier would do the job, they wanted to try him out. Szymon is one of the best, if not the best referee in the world, but he cannot be appointed to every final. It would reflect badly on UEFA that they have one referee – Zbigniew Przesmycki , chairman of the PZPN Referees’ Board in 2011-2021

Letexier is the referee’s “golden child”. He made his Ligue 1 debut at the age of 27, became an international referee a year later and was promoted to the Elite group (FIFA’s highest refereeing tier) at the age of 32. He will now become the youngest referee to ever referee a European Championship final. Until now, that title was held by Andreas Frisk, who refereed the Euro 2000 final at the age of 37.

– Letexier is making a meteoric career and it has been decided that he is mature enough to referee the Euro 2024 final. Such a decision is made collectively, Rosetti is the head of referees, but the choice of the cast is the result of many factors – says Przesmycki.

Marciniak will not referee the Euro 2024 final, but the European Championships have solidified his position in the refereeing world. – The fact that Szymon and his team stayed in Germany until the very end and were considered to referee the final is confirmation that they were in good shape and performed well at Euro 2024. And recognition of their class by Roberto Rosetti – emphasizes our interlocutor. – They did not stay there to create a crowd. After all, if France had won, our referees would have directed the final, because the French could not have done that. UEFA’s choice does not mean that Marciniak was weak during Euro 2024. Quite the opposite – he was excellent and he deserved the final – claims Przesmycki. – However, he will not referee it, but let’s not present it in a negative way. Szymon is in a very narrow group of the best referees in the world. He has a very strong position, as evidenced by the fact that he stayed at Euro 2024 until the very end. We can be proud of him. We do not belittle him in any way. He is a great ambassador of Poland in the world – concludes the former international FIFA referee (1991-1997).