The anti-fascist organization that reported a Polish referee to UEFA has a controversial history

Previously, the left-wing organization accused Polish right-wing and football fans of Russophobia and gave an ‘Antifascist of the Year’ award to a criminal

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
Referee Szymon Marciniak gives a yellow card during the Euro 2020. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Polish football referee Szymon Marciniak is facing trouble due to the left-wing organization “Nigdy Więcej,” which means “Never Again” in English, after the organization reported him to UEFA for participating in a business conference organized by Confederation party co-leader Sławomir Mentzen.

The report claimed that Marciniak was involved in a fascist conference. As a result, the Polish referee could have lost the opportunity to officiate at the Champions League final, but fortunately this did not happen.

What does Nigdy Więcej do? Who is behind it? The findings are shocking: Accusations of Russophobia and an award for a Black supposed poet-footballer from Cameroon who deliberately infected women with HIV — that is what this organization has to offer.

One of the co-founders of the “Nigdy Więcej” association is Rafał Pankowski. Since 1996, he has been the deputy editor-in-chief of an anti-fascist magazine. He is a lecturer at Collegium Civitas college in Warsaw and the coordinator of the Center for Monitoring Racism in Eastern Europe, as stated on the association’s website.

This is not the first time this left-wing organization has dealt with football. In 2012, during the UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland, a member of the Nigdy Więcej gave an interview to the leftist Krytyka Polityczna news platform where it made a number of shocking remarks.

“Hostility towards Russia and everything Russian was clearly fueled by the radical right, which was directing xenophobia of pseudo-football hooligans in that direction,” said Pankowski at the time, discussing the Polish-Russian clashes before the football match in Warsaw.

In the same interview, Pankowski claimed that “sports should serve a useful social function, integrating people in a positive way.” Given the recent attitude of his association, those words have aged poorly.

Exactly 20 years ago, Nigdy Więcej awarded the title of “Antifascist of the Year 2003” to Simon Moleke — a ruthless criminal who deliberately infected women with HIV while masquerading as a footballer or a poet.

In 1999, Moleke arrived in Poland from Cameroon, published his poetry collections, conducted author events at libraries, and became a liberal-left celebrity. However, shocking revelations later emerged. In 2007, Moleke was arrested for intentionally infecting multiple sexual partners with a strain of HIV exclusive to Cameroon and neighboring countries. He faced 13 charges, including 11 counts of HIV infection.

Referee Szymon Marciniak is not the first individual to encounter difficulties due to Nigdy Więcej. In 2021, Rafał Ziemkiewicz, a renowned conservative writer, was detained at a London airport after being included on Pankowski and his organization’s list of Polish anti-Semites. Following several hours of questioning, including a personal search and document confiscation, Ziemkiewicz was denied entry to the U.K. and ordered to leave the country.

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