The drama from a thrilling FIFA World Cup Final refuses to go away as the final’s referee Szymon Marciniak has hit back at the French press for claiming he made a critical mistake during the game.

French newspaper L’Equipe contested that Lionel Messi’s second goal in the extra-time should not have stood citing the International Football Association Board’s Law 3, paragraph 9, which includes that the referee must disallow the goal if a substituted player was on the field of play when the goal was scored.

Marciniak, who became the first man from Poland to referee the World Cup final, hit back with photo evidence during a press conference. The 41-year-old produced a screenshot on his phone that showed seven French substitutes had also entered the field while they were celebrating one of Mbappe’s goals which nullify their claims.

“The French didn’t mention this photo, where you can see how there are seven Frenchmen on the pitch when Mbappe scores a goal,” Marciniak said as he held up the phone while speaking to reporters.

Marciniak mainly spoke up after a petition was launched to replay the final. It has so far crossed 220,000 signatures.

The rest of the world has not paid much credence to France’s claims as it appears to be a case of sour grapes. 

France came out on the wrong side of history as Argentina defeated them in a penalty shootout to win its first trophy in 36 years after a thrilling final at Lusail Stadium.