The FIFA president joked about “spending so much money” at the World Cup after party

The World Cup final referee has revealed details of a conversation with FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the post-tournament party.

World Cup final referee Szymon Marciniak has revealed that FIFA president Gianni Infantino spoke about the amount of money he spends during the post-tournament party in Qatar. Marciniak and his assistants were widely hailed for their performances as Argentina defeated France to become three-time world champions.

Polish referee and officials Pawel Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz received a hero’s welcome in their native country, meeting Polish FA president Cezary Kulesza at the governing body’s headquarters in Warsaw. After the meeting, the trio discussed the biggest day of their careers with a group of journalists waiting for them at the airport.

Speaking to Sport.PL, Marciniak praised the way his linesman correctly indicated that Lionel Messi’s stoppage-time goal had gone completely over the line before Jules Kounde’s attempted clearance without the need for goal-line technology. He revealed that FIFA’s head of refereeing, Massimo Busacca, told them they were better than the sport’s technology after the match.

And the Pole also spoke of a conversation he had with Infantino afterwards, claiming he jokingly asked why FIFA was spending so much money on VAR and other technology when officials of his quality were available. He said: “Even with Messi’s goal, where it wasn’t clear if the ball crossed the goal line…

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“Before our watch started ticking with confirmation of the information, Leaflet had already raised the flag. That’s why even Massimo Busacca laughed and said: “They are better than technology”. Gianni Infantino also joked at the after party: “Why does he spend so much money on technology when we do all this without blowing the whistle?” It was nice.”

Marciniak also gave an insight into how he and his assistants warmed up after what many considered the greatest World Cup final ever. And he explaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaained how his refereeing idol Pierluigi Collina told him he was, in fact, his role model after the presentation at the Lusail Stadium.

“After the game, the champagne and some catering ended up in the locker room,” added Marciniak. “I admit that I was so tired from the meeting that I had no energy for anything. There were some balls to be signed, some photos had to be taken.

“Tom already started his playlist. Massimo Busacca and Pierluigi Collina came. Collina knew he was always my idol. After this final, he said to me: ‘Now you are my idol!’ It was the best thing I could hear.”

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