The VAR referee admits he had doubts about the penalty not awarded to Thuram

Tomasz Kwiatkowski, referee in charge of VAR during the World Cup final, returned to the difficulties he and the refereeing team encountered during this France-Argentina and in particular evokes the penalty that was not whistled on Marcus Thuram.

Hailed as heroes on their return to Poland, the various referees who surrounded Szymon Marciniak in the World Cup final took turns talking about this very special match. Tomasz Kwiatkowski, referee in charge of VAR during the World Cup final, returned to the microphone on TVP Sport after the penalty that was not given to Marcus Thuram at the end of the match. The head referee had finally opted for a simulation and sanctioned the French player.

“An arch-difficult simulation of Thuram”

Analyzing the match, Tomasz Kwiatkowski admits that he only had very few phases of the game to analyze closely, but that he naturally kept a constant eye on each match fact: “There were six goals, where there were several close situations in the decisive attacking phase. I had three penalties which were very well dictated by Szymon (Marciniak, the head referee). I had two situations with a potential red card and a super hard simulation by Thuram and remember that sometimes a simulation is balanced with a penalty.”

The journalist doing the interview then asks him what was the most difficult situation to mediate. And he replies: “Definitely (Thuram’s) simulation. VAR referees often rely on the first feeling. In this situation it was either a penalty or a simulation. As soon as Szymon decided on the simulation, I said he had to to stop the game. and we had to check everything first.”

“It was not a simple situation from a VAR point of view”

“Fortunately, I could see from the first picture that it would be right, immediately clarifies the referee who was in charge of VAR. The second one only confirmed it for me. Well, it means that the decision-making on the pitch was correct. We analyzed everything quite quickly . It was not an easy situation from a VAR point of view.”

“When you sit in a warm chair, drink a beer and eat chips, everything seems simple, he addresses the criticism against the refereeing of this final. In addition to the situations that I have mentioned, I have checked a number of small things that might help, such as a quick indication of a number or a small hint about a decision.”

“These are the secrets of our profession that not everyone knows. Szymon and the players on the field deserve the biggest applause. I stepped back and was able to help the referees who were there on the field. It was a difficult and demanding game. Also for me, in terms of emotions, the number of incidents and the responsibility involved. I had an easier life thanks to the fact that Szymon was brilliant.” and praised the work of his compatriot and chief judge.

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