Bayern offside is latest Champions League controversy for ref Marciniak after cup final successes

GENEVA (AP) — It has been a challenging season in the Champions League for the 2022 World Cup final referee Szymon Marciniak and his support officials from Poland.

Two stoppage-time decisions by Marciniak and his team — affecting Bayern Munich in the semifinals on Wednesday and Newcastle in a group-stage game in November — have fueled referee controversies that are rare in the elite-level competition.

Both times, Marciniak’s and his team’s interventions seemed to go against the widely understood advice UEFA gives match officials for its games: Don’t stop play immediately for tight offside calls and don’t award a penalty for handball when the ball has deflected off a player’s own body.

A “disastrous decision,” Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel said of the assistant’s flag quickly raised and Marciniak’s whistle quickly blown for a possible offside in a last-chance attack in the 13th minute of stoppage time. Bayern needed one goal to force extra time against Real Madrid.

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