Bizarre video shows Champions League final referee practicing showing a yellow card before the game

Bizarre footage shows Champions League final referee practicing giving a yellow card in the dressing room ahead of Man City’s historic win

Behind-the-scenes footage has emerged online showing the bizarre preparations that Champions League final referee Szymon Marciniak went through before officiating the match. 

Manchester City went on to claim a historic win in Istanbul, with Rodri’s precision strike proving to be the decisive goal in the game, helping Pep Guardiola’s side clinch their first Champions League title and the Treble with it beating Inter Milan 1-0. 

Marciniak was the man in the middle for the momentous affair, with the referee having already adjudicated eight matches in the European competition last season, including City’s semi-final matches against Real Madrid. 

And while the European showpiece event is perhaps one of the biggest and most watched games in the football calendar, a bizarre video has been posted online of the referee practicing showing his yellow card in the dressing room ahead of the final. 

During the clip, which was initially posted by Man City highlighting the occasion, the Polish referee is seen marching forwards to what appears to be a mirror and pulls out a yellow card and raises it high into the air, practicing showing a yellow card. 

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He went on to give six yellows during the match, including one to Simone Inzaghi in the sixth minute of injury time, after he expressed his unhappiness on the touchline, with Inter mounting a late attack on Man City, but failing to grab a late equaliser. 

The 42-year-old is then seen looking deep into his reflection in a mirror, perhaps psyching himself up to officiate the match, with AS reporting that 450 million people around the world were expected to tune to watch at least one part of the match. 

Marciniak, who also refereed the 2022 World Cup final between France and Argentina in December, claps his hands before turning to inspect his earpiece. 

He was joined in the officiating duties by his compatriots Paweł Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz who ran the lines for the match, as well as fourth official Istvan Kovacs from Romania, and is seen talking to his team 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: ‘Let’s go!’

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Fans online have been reacting to the video with one claiming: ‘I actually can’t believe that refs practice showing the card in front of a mirror.’

While another said: ‘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.’

It comes after UEFA underwent a review of his appointment for the Champions League final, after Marciniak was accused of speaking at an event organised by a far-right leader.  

The referee was subsequently allowed to officiate the final after UEFA sought clarification on the allegations, while the referee also apologised to UEFA.