Anthony Taylor: PGMOL condemns abuse directed at Europa League final referee

Referees’ body PGMOL says it is appalled by the “unjustified and abhorrent” abuse directed at Anthony Taylor in Budapest Airport following Wednesday’s Europa League final.

Taylor and his family were then shouted at by angry fansexternal-link at the airport.

Budapest airport officials said an Italian citizen involved in the incident had been charged with affray.

In the video, which has been shared on social media, Taylor and his family are accosted by fans as they are escorted through the airport. Scuffles then break out as they disappear through a secure door and a chair is thrown.

Following the game, Roma manager Jose Mourinho was seen in a car park confronting Taylor with a foul-mouthed rant.

A Budapest Airport statement read: “Fans of the losing Roma team recognised the referee in the food court of the airport, where he was waiting for his flight to depart.

“Thanks to the airport operator’s close co-operation with the police and the increased police presence at the airport during the arrival and departure of the fans, the authorities intervened immediately, and the referee was escorted to a lounge and boarded his flight safely, accompanied by police officers.

“The Italian citizen involved in the incident was apprehended by the police and criminal proceedings have been initiated on charges of affray.”

PGMOL said in a statement: “[We are] 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.”

The Premier League said it was “shocked and appalled by the unacceptable abuse” directed at Taylor and his family.

A Premier League spokesperson added: “No-one should have to suffer the inexcusable behaviour they had to endure.

“Anthony is one of our most experienced and accomplished match officials and we fully support him and his family.”

West Ham manager David Moyes, whose side play Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on Wednesday, said: “All referees have a really difficult job and shouldn’t be put through any difficult situations. That’s not correct.”

Uefa is waiting for reports from match officials and delegates before deciding whether to take action against Mourinho over the incident in the car park under the stadium after the match.

Mourinho criticised Taylor in his news conference and he was later captured ranting and making pointed comments as Taylor and officials were boarding a minibus.

The Portuguese repeatedly swore and twice shouted about a “disgrace” before talking in Italian.

Uefa’s chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti attempted to calm the situation down.

Mourinho was booked during an ill-tempered game, with Taylor repeatedly called to the benches to take action as fourth official Michael Oliver struggled to keep control.

Taylor issued yellow cards to 13 players, the most bookings in a Europa League game. Seven of them were to Roma players, a record for a final.

Delays and injuries saw more than 25 minutes of injury time played across the four halves of the game, which went to extra time and then a shootout.

‘Mourinho should be banned for 10 games’

Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett called on Uefa to give Mourinho a 10-game ban and take tougher action against clubs.

“What is appalling here is that a referee has gone out and done his job,” Hackett told BBC Radio 5 Live. “It is a prestigious game for him – for an English referee to be appointed to the final.

“He was looking forward to that. He spent years of refereeing to get to the level he is at. He is a world-class referee. He delivers a very difficult game without much contention and then he is faced with this particular problem as he is in the airport.

“It is unprecedented and Uefa have got to take action.

“The sanction for Mourinho? They have got to come down with a 10-game ban.

“They have also got to ban the teams from Europe. They have got to be tough; throw them out of the competition.”

Hackett said Uefa must take “responsibility for the security of match officials right up to the time that they leave the airport”.

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