Champions League final referee caught practicing giving a yellow card in changing room prior to kick-off
| Last updated
New footage has emerged online that shows the bizarre yet extensive preparations that Champions League final referee Szymon Marciniak and his assistant referees went through.
Marciniak was the man in the middle for this face-off, with the referee previously adjudicating eight matches in the Champions League last season, including both legs of the semi-final between Manchester City and Real Madrid.
The final is a spectacle that is one of the most watched games in the footballing season, so it is no wonder that the video of Marciniak practicing showing a yellow card in the dressing room is doing the rounds on social media.
The clip, which was originally posted by Manchester City to highlight the occasion, featured the Polish referee marching forwards to a mirror and pulling out a yellow card to raise high into the air, presumably to practice for the game.
He went on to brandish six yellow cards in the final, including one to Inter manager Simone Inzaghi in the sixth minute of injury time for his outlandish actions to show his frustration as Inter mounted a late attack that did not result in an equaliser.
In the clip, the 42-year-old referee is then seen looking deep into his reflection in a mirror to psych himself up for the occasion, with AS reporting that 450 million people would tune into the game at one point or another.
Marciniak, who also refereed football's biggest showpiece in the World Cup final in December 2022, then clapped his hands before inspecting his earpiece.
His officiating team included compatriots Paweł Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz as linesmen, as well as fourth official Istvan Kovacs from Romania, all of whom he was seen talking to in the dressing room.
Psyching his team up, he says to his team:
"Are you ready guys? Enjoy.
"We have all this time with the decisions guys. If it's needed take five seconds."
He then turns around and subsequently bangs his hand on the wall, saying:
Fans have been reacting to the video with one saying:
'I actually can’t believe that refs practice showing the card in front of a mirror.'
"Fantastic new video by Manchester City behind the scenes at the Champions League Final, however my highlight is the referee warming up by practicing his yellow card technique."
This all follows after UEFA reviewed his appointment for the Champions League final, as Marciniak was accused of speaking at an event organised by a far-right leader.
Ultimately, he was allowed to officiate after UEFA received clarification on the allegations, and the referee apologised for his actions to UEFA.