Referee Taylor, family harassed by hostile Roma fans at airport
Warning: Video contains coarse language
ROME (AP) — Europa League final referee Anthony Taylor and his family had to be escorted away by security at Budapest airport after outraged Roma fans directed insults at him and threw a chair in his direction, a video published on the Gazzetta dello Sport website showed Thursday.
Roma has largely blamed Taylor for its penalty shootout loss to Sevilla in the final on Wednesday. Roma coach Jose Mourinho lashed out at the referee in his post-match news conference and then was seen insulting Taylor with a series of expletives in the garage of the Puskas Arena in Budapest, Hungary, as his team prepared to depart the stadium.
The English top-tier soccer’s referees association said in a statement that it “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,” the referees association added.
UEFA is still awaiting the referee’s report from the match.
Roma general manager Tiago Pinto continued the attack on Taylor in a statement to Italian news agency ANSA on Thursday.
“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 honored 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 analyzed 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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