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Referees’ group condemns ‘abhorrent’ Taylor abuse in Budapest

Refereeing body PGMOL have condemned the “unjustified and abhorrent” abuse hurled at Anthony Taylor after the official was harassed by angry fans at Budapest Airport following his controversial display in the Europa League final.

Video footage on social media shows Taylor and his family trying to evade a furious mob as they walked through the airport after he refereed Sevilla’s victory against Roma in Hungary on Wednesday.

Taylor booked 13 players, seven of them Roma players, while the game was littered with delays due to the unusually high number of fouls.

A chair and a bottle were thrown in the direction of the referee and his group.

Taylor and his family were eventually led out of a cafe and into a secure area by airport security.

The English official was also targeted by Roma boss Jose Mourinho, who was seen gesticulating at Taylor and calling him a “disgrace” in a profanity-laced tirade in the stadium car park after the match.

Responding to the incident at the airport, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) said in a statement: “PGMOL 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.”

Ref Support UK added: “This is so, so worrying to see and we hope Anthony and his family are ok. 

“This is why we believe organisations like the LMA_Managers and the PFA as well as the WeAreTheFSA 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.”

Budapest Airport officials said an Italian had been charged with affray after the ugly clash.

“Anthony Taylor, the referee of the UEFA Europa League final, was involved in an incident at Ferenc Liszt International Airport yesterday evening,” a statement said.

“Fans of the losing Roma team recognised the referee in the food court of the airport, where he was waiting for his flight to depart.

“Thanks to the airport operator’s close cooperation with the Police and the increased Police presence at the airport during the arrival and departure of the fans, the authorities intervened immediately, and the referee was escorted to a lounge and boarded his flight safely, accompanied by Police officers. 

“The Italian citizen involved in the incident was apprehended by the Police and criminal proceedings have been initiated on charges of affray.” 

UEFA is awaiting Taylor’s report before deciding whether to take action against Mourinho for his rant.

Taylor booked Mourinho during the game, which finished 1-1 after extra time before Sevilla won on penalties.

It was Sevilla’s seventh Europa League triumph and the first European final defeat of Mourinho’s managerial career.

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