Anthony Taylor faced heavy criticism after officiating the Europa League final clash between Sevilla and Roma. Roma’s manager, Jose Mourinho, expressed his frustration by labeling Taylor a “f****** disgrace” following Roma’s penalty shootout loss to Sevilla. Mourinho’s discontent stemmed from a denied penalty appeal during the match when the score was tied at 1-1.
In the aftermath of the final, Taylor encountered further abuse when a group of Roma fans, possibly incited by Mourinho’s comments, confronted him at Budapest Airport in Hungary. These fans subjected the Premier League referee to intense criticism, necessitating police protection as he made his way to safety.
Contrary to initial reports suggesting UEFA might investigate Taylor’s performance, it appears that UEFA is content with Taylor’s handling of the final. While some reports indicated that UEFA might scrutinize Taylor’s display, sources have debunked these claims, asserting that Taylor will continue to be considered for officiating significant matches.
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) released a statement condemning the harassment and abuse directed at Anthony Taylor and his family. They expressed their shock at the unjustified mistreatment and reaffirmed their unwavering support for Taylor and his family during this difficult time.
The Europa League final itself was marked by intensity, with Sevilla receiving five yellow cards en route to clinching the Europa League title once more. Despite the challenging circumstances, Taylor, a highly-rated official by UEFA, received praise for his exceptional performance from former Premier League referee Mark Halsey.
Halsey did not mince words when addressing the behavior of Jose Mourinho, the Roma players, and the Sevilla players. He characterized their conduct as appalling and expressed concern about the negative influence it might have on young fans worldwide. Taylor and his officiating team were commended for their ability to maintain order during the match despite immense pressure from players and team officials.
Halsey emphasized that referees do not seek to send players off but can only respond to player behavior. In this case, the behavior of the players and coaches made it exceedingly challenging for Anthony Taylor to manage the game effectively. Halsey concluded by expressing his hope that UEFA would take disciplinary action against both clubs to deter such behavior from recurring in the future.