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01st Dec 2022

Wojciech Szczesny reveals €100 bet with Lionel Messi before Poland versus Argentina penality

Steve Hopkins

And the goalkeeper says he isn’t going to pay Messi

Wojciech Szczesny claims he put a €100 bet on with Lionel Messi before a controversial penalty and is now expecting disciplinary action from FIFA.

The bet was made before a first-half penalty was awarded following a VAR review during Poland’s 2022 World Cup group game against Argentina which they lost, 2-0 on Wednesday night.

Second-half goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez were enough for Argentina to top Group C. Poland also scrapped through as runners-up, with goal difference coming to their aid after Mexico beat Saudi Arabia 2-1.

The Argentina penalty was given after Szczesny was deemed to have fouled Messi while attempting to punch a high ball clear, something referee Danny Makkelie confirmed via pitch side monitor.

It was during that break in play that Szczęsny says he discussed the incident with Messi – and made him a bet which may see him penalised.

“No I didn’t [think it would be given],” he told Norwegian broadcaster TV 2 Sport post-match.

“We spoke before the penalty and I told him I can bet him €100 that he wasn’t going to give it. So I’ve lost a bet against Messi. I don’t know if that’s allowed at the World Cup. I’m probably going to be banned for it. I don’t care right now.”

According to FIFA’s rules on betting, players are “forbidden from participating in, either directly or indirectly, betting, gambling, lotteries” related to football. If found guilty of breaking those rules, players can be fined at least 100,000 Swiss francs (£87,000) or banned from football for a maximum of three years.

According to the Daily Mail, Szczęsny added during the interview: “And I’m not going to pay him either! He doesn’t care about €100, come on!”

Asked if Messi already has enough money, Szczesny said: “Yeah, I think so.”

While Szczesny denied Messi, he wasn’t able to prevent Alexis Mac Allister from giving Argentina the lead early in the second half.

Manchester City’s Julian Alvarez then doubled Argentina’s lead in the 67th minute.

Argentina face Australia on Saturday and Poland face France on Sunday.

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