June 2 – Harassment of Europa League final referee Anthony Taylor and his family by AS Roma fans at Budapest Airport was condemned on Thursday by the PGMOL, which oversees refereeing in English professional football.
Taylor came under scrutiny following Roma’s 4-1 shootout loss to Sevilla on Wednesday including from Roma manager Jose Mourinho who, somewhat delusionally, said he deserved more and suggested poor refereeing contributed heavily to his side’s defeat.
Fuelling Roma fans’ ire, Mourinho sarcastically accused a Taylor of being a referee “who seemed Spanish” for dishing out so many yellow cards to his team even though Sevilla were handed almost as many as the Italians – six versus eight – and fully deserved their victory over 120 minutes on the balance of play.
The shootout loss that followed a 1-1 draw was Mourinho’s first defeat in six finals and later he was seen hurling a series of expletives at Taylor outside the Puskas Arena in Budapest as his team prepared to leave.
Taylor then required protection from airport security as he and his family sought refuge in a safe area as Roma fans hurled insults and objects in his direction.
“We are appalled at the unjustified and abhorrent abuse directed at Anthony and his family as he tries to make his way home from refereeing the UEFA Europa League final,” a statement from PGMOL said.
UEFA is still awaiting the referee’s report from the match but Roma general manager Tiago Pinto continued the attack on Taylor in a statement to Italian news agency ANSA.
“We at AS Roma don’t want to raise doubts about Sevilla’s merits. We believe that with our opponents we put on a great final and honoured the stage offered to us by UEFA in the best way,” Pinto said.
“We don’t usually comment immediately about these types of situations but over the course of today we’ve analysed both the most glaring incidents and those seemingly less evident and it is clear that in disciplinary terms the refereeing of the match was not balanced.”
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