Szymon Marciniak will retain his role as the referee of the Champions League final having apologized for his appearance at an event organized by a far-right politician in Poland. Marciniak will be in charge of the match between Manchester City and Inter Milan in Istanbul on June 10 but there had been calls for him to be replaced. The 42-year-old was present at the Everest business conference on May 29, an event organized by Slawomir Mentzen, but has expressed his "deepest apologies for my involvement and any distress or harm it may have caused."
Marciniak added that he had been "completely unaware" of the conference's affiliation with Mentzen, who in 2019 marketed himself as standing against Jews and homosexuals.
UEFA's investigations into Marciniak had involved dialogue with anti-racist association Never Again, who had initially raised concerns about the referee's presence at the event. Never Again requested that Marciniak remain in place and UEFA will allow him to do so, having acknowledged "his profound apologies and clarification."
Marciniak, who also refereed the World Cup final between Argentina and France in December, said: "I hope this statement will find its way to all those concerned, particularly the individuals who were rightfully alarmed and disappointed by my participation in the Everest event organized in Katowice on May 29, 2023. I want to express my deepest apologies for my involvement and any distress or harm it may have caused.
"Upon reflection and further investigation, it has become evident that I was gravely misled and completely unaware of the true nature and affiliations of the event in question. I had no knowledge that it was associated with a Polish extreme-right movement. Had I been aware of this fact, I would have categorically declined the invitation.
"It is important to understand that the values promoted by this movement are entirely contrary to my personal beliefs and the principles I strive to uphold in my life. I am deeply remorseful for any perception that my participation may have contradicted them.
"Moving forward, I pledge to be more vigilant in scrutinizing the events and organizations with which I associate myself. I am committed to learning from this experience and ensuring that such lapses in judgment do not occur in the future. Lastly, I extend my sincere apologies to the clubs, players, fans, colleagues, officials and organizations who place their trust in me. I fully comprehend that my actions have had repercussions beyond personal disappointment, and I am fully prepared to accept any consequences resulting from my ill-advised participation.
"Thank you for your understanding, and I humbly request an opportunity to make amends and regain your trust through my future actions."