The stage is set for the FIFA World Cup 2022 final as Argentina takes on defending champion France at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday. The match will kick off at 8:30 Indian Standard Time (IST).
While Didier Deschamps’ France will look to become the only third side in history to win the World Cup titles in two consecutive editions, Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina eyes its first title since winning the grandest sporting event in 1986.
Both France and Argentina lost one match each at the group stage, but they have been outstanding en route to the final, with Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi inspiring their teams to magnificent wins.
Argentina qualified for the final after a comprehensive 3-0 win against Croatia in the semifinals, while France clinched a 2-0 win against Morocco to reach its second successive final.
Prior to Sunday’s final, the South American and European giants played each other 12 times, with Argentina holding a 6-3 head-to-head edge over France. The remaining three matches ended in draws. Their most recent meeting came in the Russia World Cup when France beat Argentina 4-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Szymon Marciniak will be in charge of the proceedings tonight. In the final, he will be among the familiar faces as he has already officiated matches involving Argentina and France in this World Cup.
Who is Marciniak?
The 41-year-old is a Polish referee. He has experience officiating the Euro Cup, UEFA Champions League, Ekstraklasa - Poland’s top division - and FIFA World Cup matches.
Marciniak joined the FIFA panel at the age of 30 in 2011 when he officiated Europa League matches. He officiated his first Champions League match in 2012 and made his international debut at the Euro 2016.
This is Marciniak’s second World Cup, and he is known to be running matches with an iron fist. In the 2018 World Cup, he officiated two games. In the Qatar World Cup, this will be his third match. He oversaw the Group D match between France and Denmark and Argentina vs Australia pre-quarterfinal clash. In those two matches, he booked five players as both the finalists Argentina and France won 2-1.
In the Champions League this year, he officiated three matches - Dinamo Zagreb vs AC Milan, Barcelona vs Inter Milan and Marseille vs Tottenham Hotspur - and booked 11 players.
In the past, he was criticised by former Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel after the Premier League side lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League last season. Tuchel accused Marciniak of ‘having a good time’ with the Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Marciniak will be assisted by his Polish compatriots Pawel Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz, while Ismail Elfath of the USA will be the fourth official. The VAR official for this match Tomasz Kwiatkowski is also a Polish national.
Match officials for Argentina vs France FIFA World Cup 2022 final
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