(Reuters) – UEFA on Friday condemned the harassment of Europa League final referee Anthony Taylor and his family by AS Roma fans, while the Serie A club’s manager Jose Mourinho was charged with using abusive language against a match official.
Taylor came under scrutiny following Roma’s shootout loss to Sevilla in UEFA’s second-tier final on Wednesday.
The match was tetchy with Taylor dishing out 14 yellow cards, the most ever in a Europa League game, and playing almost 30 minutes of stoppage time in total.
The day after the match, videos circulated on social media showing English referee Taylor and his family being harassed by Roma fans at Budapest Airport.
In the video, Roma fans could be seen abusing the 44-year-old Taylor and his family, who required protection from airport security as they sought refuge in a safe area.
“UEFA vehemently condemns violent behaviour directed towards its referee Anthony Taylor and his family. Such actions are unacceptable and undermine the spirit of fair play and respect that UEFA upholds,” UEFA said in a statement.
“UEFA maintains a close collaboration with local police and airport security starting from the referees’ arrival in host cities.
“However, we are constantly striving to enhance the security measures for officials in coordination with local authorities. We will carefully assess the incidents and incorporate valuable insights into our future event planning processes.”
As part of disciplinary proceedings following the final, the European soccer governing body on Friday charged Mourinho, who was filmed yelling expletives at the officials outside the Puskas Arena.
The Portuguese manager was critical of the refereeing in comments after the game, saying, “it was an intense, masculine, vibrant game with a referee who seemed Spanish. It was yellow, yellow, yellow all the time.”
Both teams’ supporters have also been charged with setting off fireworks and throwing objects, while Roma’s fans were alleged to have committed acts of damage along with other crowd disturbances.
Sevilla have additionally been charged over a pitch invasion by their supporters, who raced out onto the field after Gonzalo Montiel fired home the winning spot kick.
Photo – Referre Anthony Taylor shows a yellow card during the UEFA Europa League final between Seviila FC and AS Roma, in Budapest, Hungary, 31 May 2023. EPA-EFE/Tibor Illyes