Europa League final referee Anthony Taylor and his family were harassed by AS Roma fans on Thursday at the Budapest airport just a day after officiating the team's final loss to Sevilla in penalty kicks. The English official, blamed for not awarding a penalty kick for Roma after a handball in the box, had to be escorted through the airport as things turned violent with one fan even launching a chair in his direction.
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Taylor and his family weren't physically hurt but it could have been so much worse. It's easy to forget that he is human and no one should ever be treated this way. Roma have nobody to blame for that final than themselves, and manager Jose Mourinho approaching Taylor after the game near the team bus and calling him "a [expletive] disgrace" did not help matter in the least. It's now reported by the British press that Mourinho will be charged by UEFA for his behavior toward the officials that night.
"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 English referees association said in a statement.
Being in the spotlight can certainly have its severe disadvantages, and this is one of them.
Roma's general manager commented on the attack with a comment that didn't condemn the events, rather raising further doubts on his performance.
"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," Roma general manager Tiago Pinto said, according to the Associated Press. "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."