Anthony Taylor’s performance in the Europa League final has come under heavy scrutiny and criticism, with UEFA reportedly initiating a review of the referee’s actions.
The controversy surrounding Taylor escalated after Roma’s penalty shootout defeat against Sevilla, when former Tottenham Hotspur manager José Mourinho publicly lambasted the Englishman, going as far as calling him a ‘f*****g disgrace.’
Mourinho’s outburst triggered a disturbing chain of events as Taylor found himself surrounded by distressed Roma fans at Budapest airport, while he attempted to make his way home with his family.
The incident highlighted the intensity and passion that football evokes among supporters but also raised concerns about the treatment of referees.
However, it seems that Mourinho and Roma were not the only ones dissatisfied with Taylor’s officiating.
Reports suggest that UEFA, the governing body for European football, agrees with Mourinho’s assessment of the referee’s performance. UEFA designator Roberto Rosetti is said to be reviewing Taylor’s actions during the match, indicating that there are legitimate concerns to address.
Among the specific issues raised about Taylor’s performance were his handling of Fernando’s handball incident and a penalty he initially awarded to Sevilla, which was later overturned by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
These incidents, along with others, have cast a shadow of doubt over Taylor’s decision-making and overall control of the match.
While Taylor faces significant criticism from many quarters, there are those who have come to his defence.
One such supporter is former Swiss referee Urs Meier, who suggested that Mourinho should be banned from football for a year due to his comments.
Meier referred to Mourinho’s past behaviour when he was Chelsea coach, citing an incident involving Anders Frisk, a former Swedish referee who faced death threats and ultimately retired as a result.
Meier’s argument is that Mourinho’s actions of directing vitriol towards referees and inciting hostility among fans are unacceptable.
He believes that such behaviour should result in severe consequences, including a ban from the sport. Meier’s perspective highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the treatment of referees and the need to ensure their safety and integrity within the game.