English referee Anthony Taylor and his family were harassed and abused by a baying mob of Roma supporters at Budapest airport in the wake of his performance in their Europa League final defeat by Sevilla on Wednesday night.
Roma manager Jose Mourinho confronted Taylor in the car park at the Puskas Arena long after the final whistle and labelled the official a ‘f***ing disgrace’, having taken exception to a number of controversial decisions and the sheer number of bookings.
Taylor was tasked with overseeing the feisty affair and brandished 14 yellow cards to Roma and Sevilla players combined, the most ever shown in one Europa League tie.
He also made several contentious calls, with Sevilla awarded a penalty before seeing it overturned and Roma denied a spot-kick for a potential handball.
And the anger has not yet abated, with a large group of Roma fans directing their rage squarely at Taylor and his family after he was spotted in the airport.
Referee Anthony Taylor was goaded by furious Roma supporters at the airport in Budapest
Police officers were forced to step in and corral Taylor and his family into a private room
Taylor brandished no fewer than 14 yellow cards during the full-blooded Europa League final
Disturbing footage posted on social media shows groups chanting angrily in his direction, forcing police officers to hurriedly usher him into a private room.
In one video, the person holding the camera appeared to grab Taylor’s backpack.
As the 44-year-old was led to safety, pockets of fans argued amongst themselves, with police appealing for calm after a chair was launched inside the terminal.
Another angle recorded Taylor edging through the crowd, surrounded by family members. One supporter clad in a white t-shirt stepped forward to shout in his face with his phone aloft, before a member of Taylor’s party shoved him away.
Liquid was then sprayed in their direction, coating a man. Eventually, the group were hurried through the door, with one officer catching the flying chair in mid-air.
According to Football Italia, the fan that threw the chair is being held by the police.
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the body responsible for refereeing in the UK, described the incident as ‘unjustified and abhorrent’.
Taylor was forced to walk through a large gathering and tempers flared, with a chair thrown
The official looked to have been accompanied by his family as they edged through the crowd
Jose Mourinho was among those booked during the showdown, with Taylor in the spotlight
A statement said: ‘PGMOL is aware of videos circulating on social media showing Anthony Taylor and his family being harassed and abused at Budapest Airport.
‘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. We will continue to provide our full support to Anthony and his family.’
Referee’s charity Ref Support UK urged the authorities to act to prevent a repeat.
On Twitter, they wrote: ‘This is so, so worrying to see and we hope Anthony and his family are OK.
‘This is why we believe organisations like the @LMA_Managers and the @PFA as well as the @WeAreTheFSA need to come out and condemn such behaviour in this country.
‘Managers’ comments and players’ behaviour encourages this and it is on a worrying rise where a serious incident or murder is just around the corner.’
Taylor was accused by Mourinho of ‘seeming Spanish’ for the number of yellow cards he dished out, and the veteran coach angrily confronted the referee after the match.
Deep in the bowels of the ground, Mourinho fumed at Taylor in several languages.
‘F***ing disgrace, man, it’s a f***ing disgrace,’ Mourinho raged, before switching to swear at the official in Italian. ‘F*** off,’ he continued.
He then approached the referee’s mini-bus and sniped, ‘Congratulations, you f***ing disgrace’, before trudging off to the team bus.
The clash dragged across the course of the evening with 25 minutes of injury time played across the four halves. At one point, Roma midfielder Nemanja Matic stopped play out of sheer exhaustion, leading Sevilla’s bench to jump up in frustration.
This only added to Mourinho’s ire and he was spotted arguing with members of the Spaniards’ backroom team on the edge of the box, requiring him to be restrained.
Taylor then stepped in and awarded Mourinho a yellow card.
‘Next year we won’t be playing the Champions League and that’s a good thing because we’re not made for it,’ Mourinho said.
‘And let’s hope that Taylor, only officiates games in the Champions League and does the same bull**** there that he did tonight, and not in the Europa League.’
Mourinho was raging after his side’s last-gasp loss and later confronted Taylor in the car park
Mourinho had to be restrained after sniping at Taylor for being a ‘f***ing disgrace’
Ironically, Mourinho also declared Roma had not lost their ‘dignity’ in defeat.
‘I’ve won five European finals over the years and on this occasion I’m no less proud than the five times I won,’ he said post-match.
‘I am proud of the players. I told them before that we would either be leaving with the cup or we’d be dead on our feet.
‘We’re leaving dead on our feet. The players are totally exhausted and so am I, both physically and psychologically.
‘We felt pressure against a team that has more talent than us. We lost a game but not dignity. I’ve never gone home prouder than today, even when I won.’
Paulo Dybala’s first-half strike was cancelled out by Gianluca Mancini’s own goal on 55 minutes, before a dramatic penalty shoot-out condemned Roma to defeat.
The veteran coach was physically held back during one of the final’s many flashpoints
A glum Mourinho left the pitch after giving away his runner’s up medal to a child in the crowd