World Cup Final Dispute Rages Between France, Argentina, Referee Strikes Back

The final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup ended over a week ago.

Argentina was crowned as the world soccer champion for the third time in its history. Their final match rival, France, has turned into a sour loser demanding a replay over alleged violations, causing the game’s referee to fight back in a unique way.

World Cup Scandalous in Many Ways

The 2022 FIFA World Cup, which took place in November and December in Qatar, was marred by multiple scandals in advance over the host Arab country’s human rights record, migrant labor, and claims of political corruption within the world soccer federation.

That included outrageous comments by FIFA chief Gianni Infantino, a friend of bloodthirsty Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who lied that western nations had been “exploiting” and terrorizing the rest of the world for “3,000 years.”

Even so, World Cup 2022 still grabbed global attention, due to soccer’s worldwide popularity; commentators described the final match between Argentina and France as a remarkable spectacle.

The final ended 3-3, after 120 minutes on the field, including 30 minutes of overtime, leading to penalty kicks, in which Argentina triumphed over France 4-2.

The victory gave Argentina its third World Cup after wins in 1978 and 1986. France itself failed to score a third triumph, remaining with the two that it won in 1998 and four years ago, in 2018.

In the overall World Cup rankings, Brazil has won five times, followed by Germany and Italy with four each, Argentina with three wins, France and Uruguay with two each, and England and Spain with one title each.

The loss in the Qatar World Cup final match was especially painful for the French, who were hoping to repeat their success from the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and score a third title.

A French newspaper and a public petition are claiming the referee in the final match, Szymon Marciniak from Poland, made a major omission, which should have disqualified one of Argentina’s goals.

A ‘France Stop Crying’ Petition

According to the French newspaper “L’Equipe,” one of the two goals that Argentina’s superstar player, Lionel Messi, scored in the final’s extra time shouldn’t have stood.

That’s because two of the Argentinian substitutes, in a moment of excitement, seemed to have jumped on the pitch before the ball went into France’s goal.

The paper pointed to Law 3, Paragraph 9, of the International Football Association Board, which says the referee has to disavow a goal if a substitute set foot on the pitch when it was scored.

Referee Marciniak, who became the first Pole to oversee a World Cup final game, fought back at the French criticism in a “unique manner,” according to ESPN.

During a press conference, the referee showed on his phone a screenshot demonstrating during one of the French goals – all three of which were scored by the team’s superstar Kylian Mbappe – there were seven substitutes of France already celebrating on the pitch.

Marciniak’s reaction came after French soccer fans started an online petition demanding a replay of the Qatar World Cup final because of the dispute over substitutes stepping on the pitch. In several days, the petition gathered 225,000 signatures.

That, however, hasn’t brought the French even a moral victory, as Argentina’s fans reacted in turn and retaliated in kind.

They started an online petition demanding that “France Stop Crying” over their loss of the World Cup. In a couple of days, it raked in over 660,000 signatures.

Team USA performed well in the 2022 World Cup but got eliminated 2-3 in the Round of 16 by the formidable team of the Netherlands.

This article appeared in Mainstpress and has been published here with permission.