The Pole Tomasz Kwiatkowski was to officiate, on the evening of Wednesday November 29, during the Champions League football match between the Spaniards Real Sociedad and the Austrians RB Salzburg. Nothing will happen.

UEFA, the governing body of European football, decided to replace him, at the last minute, with the German Marco Fritz. The measure is similar to a sanction, after several contentious decisions taken by the refereeing body the day before, during the second half of the match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Newcastle, at the Parc des Princes.

Responsible for VAR (video assistance for refereeing), Mr. Kwiatkowski was notably at the origin of the penalty awarded to the hosts in the final minutes (90th 8th), which allowed Kylian Mbappé and his teammates to conclude the meet in a draw (1-1).

Tuesday evening, as added time approaches its end, the Parisians push to equalize. Ousmane Dembélé crosses into the Magpies area, the ball seems to touch the hand of English defender Valentino Livramento. The central referee, Szymon Marciniak, stops the game and waits for instructions from the VAR. Then he will check it himself, by viewing the images, before awarding the penalty to the Parisians.

A “steal” for the British media

In a post-match press conference, Eddie Howe, the Newcastle coach, had already argued that the official had “not made the right decision”: “There are certain things to take into account at this moment, speed first, which is not the same as slow motion. I think the hand goes in the direction of a natural movement of the body. It’s frustrating, but that’s how it is, there’s nothing we can do about it. » Across the Channel, the press also roundly denounced the choice of Mr. Marciniak, denouncing the “theft” suffered by Newcastle.

The ball first hit Livramento’s chest, before hitting his left arm. A situation which, according to UEFA directives, did not justify calling a penalty.