English referee Anthony Taylor and his family found themselves in a distressing situation at Budapest Airport, as they were subjected to harassment by a group of AS Roma fans. The unfortunate incident occurred following Roma’s defeat by Sevilla in the Europa League final.

Disturbing videos circulating on social media captured the moment Taylor and his family were hastily escorted by airport security after fans hurled a chair and a bottle in their direction. Notably, criminal proceedings have commenced against an individual charged with affray, according to Budapest Airport.

The incident has sparked widespread condemnation from various quarters. The Premier League, thoroughly appalled by the incident, expressed its shock and extended its full support to Taylor and his family.

Additionally, Refsupport UK, a prominent organization, urged renowned bodies like the League Managers Association (LMA), Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), and Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) to condemn such repugnant behavior. The organization stressed the urgency of addressing the escalating trend of abuse targeting officials.

Taylor’s involvement in the Europa League final was marked by a record-setting display of caution cards. The Premier League referee dished out a staggering 14 yellow cards, an unprecedented number in the competition’s history.

Moreover, the match witnessed an unusually protracted duration due to the allocation of nearly 30 minutes of stoppage time. Mourinho, the manager of Roma, vented his frustrations in the aftermath of the game, launching a tirade of expletives toward the officials within the confines of the car park. Furthermore, he criticized their performance during the subsequent press conference.

Despite Roma’s general manager acknowledging Sevilla’s achievements, he asserted that the refereeing had been biased. UEFA is currently awaiting the referee’s match report to determine the appropriate course of action regarding Mourinho.

Dermot Gallagher, a former referee, decried the treatment inflicted upon Taylor as entirely unacceptable. He emphasized the dire need for heightened security and enhanced protection for referees. Gallagher also underscored the importance of educating individuals about the formidable challenges faced by referees, shedding light on the potential consequences these incidents might have on recruitment efforts.

The unsettling occurrence at Budapest Airport serves as a poignant reminder of the escalating problem of abuse and violence targeting referees and officials in the realm of football. The incident raises grave concerns regarding the safety and well-being of referees, as well as its potential impact on recruitment and retention endeavors.

The unequivocal condemnation from various organizations and individuals underscores the necessity for more robust measures to tackle this issue and safeguard the welfare of referees and their families.

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