A mob of football supporters attacked Anthony Taylor, the English referee, at Budapest airport.
Taylor and his family were travelling home after he took charge of Wednesday night’s Europa League final, in which Roma lost on penalties to Sevilla.
In footage of the attack one man is seen throwing a chair in Taylor’s direction.
Referee Anthony Taylor, getting attacked at the airport by Roma fans.
This is absolutely disgusting to see, wow! pic.twitter.com/q9g23LrBu3
— Football Away Days (@FBAwayDays) June 1, 2023
Roma fans identified Anthony Taylor at the Budapest Airport and they were left seething.pic.twitter.com/yoCtodmRnO
— Get Italian Football News (@_GIFN) June 1, 2023
The Premier League official had been strongly criticised for his performance in the final by Roma manager Jose Mourinho during his post-match press conference.
And in video footage which later emerged on social media, the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager was seen gesticulating at Taylor and officials in the stadium car park and heard saying “f------ disgrace”.
The Professional Game Match Officials Limited, who manage referees in England, will make contact with Taylor over the attacks, while charity Ref Support put the blame on the comments of Mourinho and his players who voiced their anger at the officiating during their Europa loss.
“This is so so worrying to see and we hope Anthony and his family are OK,” read a statement from the Ref Support charity. “This is why we believe organisations like the League Managers’ Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association and the Football Supporters’ Association need to come out and condemn such behaviour in this country.
“Managers’ comments and players’ behaviour encourage this and it is on a worrying rise where a serious incident or murder is just around the corner.”
PGMOL added: “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.”
Mourinho was upset at the six bookings his team received and the yellow cards for his backroom staff, who were at odds with fourth official Michael Oliver through the evening. Sevilla’s winning penalty in the shoot-out was retaken after initially being saved, while Roma were also denied a spot-kick during the match.
“It was an intense, masculine, vibrant game with a referee who seemed Spanish,” said Mourinho afterwards. “It was yellow, yellow, yellow all the time,” he said. “We are accustomed to the influence of referees in our games, it’s nothing new, but I didn’t expect it in a European final.”
In the car park as teams waited to leave the stadium, Mourinho was seen in a clip shared by Sportitalia lambasting the referee for his “bulls---” decisions. He can be seen in the video approaching the match officials’ minibus and shouting “F---ing disgrace man, it’s a f---ing disgrace” before then switching to Italian to further berate Taylor.
He added: “Congratulations, you f---ing disgrace... F--- off.”
Mourinho was branded ‘enemy of football’
In 2005 Mourinho was accused of being “the enemy of football” over his criticism of referee Anders Frisk. The Swedish referee was accused of talking to Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard at half-time of a clash against Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Frisk retired from refereeing after receiving death threats afterwards, with Uefa referees’ committee chairman Volker Roth laying the blame at Mourinho. “We can’t accept that one of our best referees has been forced to quit because of this. People like Mourinho are the enemy of football,” he said.
After the Europa loss, Mourinho also opened the way for Paris St-Germain to move for him this summer after refusing to commit himself to AS Roma. He is set for talks with Roma’s board over his future and admitted to Sky Italia he “cannot say objectively that I’m staying”.
PSG manager Christophe Galtier has seen his position under scrutiny after getting knocked out early of the Champions League, with Mourinho seen as a potential candidate if there is a change at Parc des Princes.
“I spoke to the club in December when I had that approach from the Portuguese national team,” Mourinho said in his post-match interviews. “I have not had any contact with anyone else since then. I have a year left on my contract and this is the situation.”