In a shocking incident, an AS Roma supporter was apprehended by Hungarian police for assaulting referee Anthony Taylor.
Taylor faced an angry group of fans at the airport after overseeing a heated Europa League Final that Sevilla won on penalties.
Roma manager Jose Mourinho publicly criticized the referee for his 13 yellow cards. He questioned the reason for not sending off Erik Lamela and retaking a penalty.
I need to defend my lads, and I must say that we are used to it, but still seeing this kind of refereeing in a European final is really, really hard.
It was an intense, vibrant game with a referee who seemed Spanish. It was yellow, yellow, yellow all the time.Jose Mourinho on Anthony Taylor referee performance during Europa League Final
After the match Mourinho confronted Taylor in the car park, hurling verbal abuse at the English referee.
Roma fans shared videos of Mourinho’s outburst on various social media platforms, potentially fueling the subsequent attack.
Angry Roma supporters attempted to attack Taylor and his family at the airport, prompting police intervention.
A joint statement from Budapest airport and police read:
Anthony Taylor, the referee of the UEFA Europa League final, was involved in an incident at Ferenc Liszt International (Budapest) Airport yesterday evening. 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.
There were no further disturbances at the airport following the police response to this isolated incident. Budapest Airport and the police wish to make it clear that there is zero tolerance towards violence of any kind towards passengers or staff working at the airport.
The incident raises questions about the influence of public displays and the role they played in the fan’s attack.
UEFA has charged Roma with six offenses after manager Jose Mourinho’s outburst against Taylor.
The incident highlights the intense emotions and controversies surrounding the Europa League final and its aftermath.