Referee Anthony Taylor Attacked By Roma Fans At Budapest Airport

Referee Anthony Taylor Attacked By Roma Fans At Budapest Airport

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While I enjoy exercising, I can’t say that I enjoy watching sports, or know a whole lot about it. My knowledge of professional sports is mostly limited to what I overhear at TSA checkpoints, as the officers argue about which player is better, or something. Anyway, on to our once annual sports coverage here at OMAAT, since there’s an aviation angle…

Anthony Taylor attacked at Budapest Airport

The Europa League final took place on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, in Budapest, Hungary. Specifically, the game was between Sevilla and Roma. They tied 1-1, and then Sevilla won 4-1 in penalty kicks.

The game was refereed by Anthony Taylor, and some people weren’t too happy with the calls he made (more on that in a bit). While it’s normal for not everyone to agree on calls, what shouldn’t be normal is attacking the referee for these calls. Taylor flew out of Budapest Airport (BUD) with his family on Thursday, June 1, 2023, and ended up being ambushed by Roma fans.

In addition to people heckling him, you can see people trying to throw drinks at him, and even someone trying to throw a chair at him. You can see his daughter in tears while she walks next to him, and the police even have to step in to protect them.

I know telling sports fans “chill, it’s just a game” doesn’t go over well, but… can we please chill, because it’s just a game? No matter how you feel about a call, trying to assault someone is disgusting, and shouldn’t be tolerated. I don’t understand peoples’ lack of decency. I mean, do you see his daughter crying? And does trying to throw a chair at them somehow make you feel better?

I’m a little saddened that even people I respect seem to have a very bad take on this. When someone points out how it’s “shocking” that a referee was attacked at the airport, the response is that… this wouldn’t have happened if he was a fair referee? Really?

Taylor also suffered some abuse when leaving the game, when Roma manager Jose Mourinho stopped Taylor to call him a “f*cking crook” and tell him to “f*ck off.”

In response to this incident, the Premier League has issued the following statement:

We are shocked and appalled by the unacceptable abuse directed at Anthony Taylor and his family as they travelled back from the UEFA Europa League Final.

No one should have to suffer the inexcusable behaviour they had to endure yesterday.

Anthony is one of our most experienced and accomplished match officials and we fully support him and his family.

Why is Anthony Taylor so controversial?

So, why are so many people angry at Taylor? It involves a handball call, or lack thereof. Below you can see the video clip of the ball hitting the hand of a Sevilla player.

Taylor didn’t call for a penalty for this. Why? Well, according to the rules, here are the circumstances under which you can call a handball:

An arm that is extended laterally or vertically can make the body unnaturally bigger, covering more space than necessary. Therefore, a handball in an “unnatural position” can be called, even if it is not done so deliberately.

So the disagreement comes down to whether the player’s arm was extended unnaturally or not. Taylor ruled it wasn’t. Interestingly virtually all Sevilla fans seem to agree with him, while virtually all Roma fans don’t. What a coincidence!

Bottom line

Football referee Anthony Taylor was ambushed at Budapest Airport, after the Europa League final between Sevilla and Roma. Roma fans weren’t happy with some of his calls (in particular him not making a handball call). This not only caused the Roma manager to call him a “f*cking crook,” but then he was also attacked at the airport, with people trying to throw drinks and even a chair and him and his family.

Regardless of how you feel about his refereeing (and I have no skin in the game here), we should do better…

What do you make of this situation?

Conversations (30)
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  1. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar Guest

    Can you explain the offside rule please Ben

  2. iamhere Guest

    So what. In some way it goes with the job description.

  3. Ross Kennedy Guest

    This is the result of the way Jose Mourinho operates, he always attacks officials, at Chelsea it was his modus operandi, a really nasty character who only wins when he has money to buy players and invariably leaves the club morally bankrupt.
    The football authorities should have reined him in years ago.

  4. momofly Guest

    Ben as a football fan, I respect your coverage on this, you’re reporting skills and coverage was actually better than most sports blogs and outlets. Nothing But love and respect for you!!

    A side note, did you book your recent Etihad first class flight from IAD using miles?

  5. Antwan Guest

    He had a bad performance in the final, but favored Roma overall. Apart from the potential handball, he did not call a foul by Roma that resulted in Roma's first goal and cancelled a penalty that was called for Sevilla. Ridiculous to see Roma fans complain after benefitting so much and playing horrendously.

  6. Jerry Diamond

    I like watching grown men play a game I'm not athletic enough to participate in, but if the group of people I like better doesn't win, I think it's my right to attack strangers and yell at my wife.

  7. D3kingg Guest

    Ben your ice hockey team is in the Stanley Cup finals. Smh. Jump on the bandwagon.

    1. Lasdiner Guest

      Cut it lucky
      Soccer ain’t golf or baseball
      If you’re a referee You don’t travel with family after a heated final through an airport filled with rowdy fans and cry abuse for being heckled at.
      Stick with your expertise
      The authenticity of being a soccer fan should be preserved from the political correctness that strives to make everything nice clean, inclusive and polite. No, football is rude, dirty harsh, utterly unfair,...

      Cut it lucky
      Soccer ain’t golf or baseball
      If you’re a referee You don’t travel with family after a heated final through an airport filled with rowdy fans and cry abuse for being heckled at.
      Stick with your expertise
      The authenticity of being a soccer fan should be preserved from the political correctness that strives to make everything nice clean, inclusive and polite. No, football is rude, dirty harsh, utterly unfair, possibly borderline violent, it resembles life, hence its popularity
      Remember soccer is a game, not a sport
      Having said that, shame on my fellow magica Roma fans for making a girl cry but let’s not twist it into anything bigger
      They should invite the girl to a nice Roman holiday and apologize

    2. lasdiner Guest

      AND GO KNIGHTS
      miami is Useless

  8. AC Guest

    Whether it was meant to be a penalty or not, and let's face it, correct calls are given, incorrect calls are given - that's part and parcel of all sports.
    Of course it feels terrible when your team loses, and some will throw their toys out of the pram, this isn't even limited to sports as Jan 6th has demonstrated.
    In this situation - Mourinho should face some level of discipline and punishment,...

    Whether it was meant to be a penalty or not, and let's face it, correct calls are given, incorrect calls are given - that's part and parcel of all sports.
    Of course it feels terrible when your team loses, and some will throw their toys out of the pram, this isn't even limited to sports as Jan 6th has demonstrated.
    In this situation - Mourinho should face some level of discipline and punishment, he as the manager of Roma should know that he has an influence on Roma fans, and if he acts foul, so will the rest. It's a good thing they were not in the US because otherwise what stops one crazy fan taking it too far and shooting the ref.?

    1. 305 Guest

      Mourinho’s reaction toward Taylor had no influence on their actions at all. They would have done the same at the airport even if Mou stayed quiet after the match.

      These were ultras, they’re sometimes crazy. They act on their own, they don’t take “influence” from anyone. Look at what happened in Brescia yesterday…

    2. Neutral between the two teams Guest

      Let me look up in the dictionary what it means to instigate, wait… oh it’s adding oil to the fire!

      Point taken though about ultras. Are they fans of the sport, supporter of the club or mob looking for an outlet? Sometimes the commentators call it passion as if it’s good for the sports. Is it really? I can seriously use some education here.

  9. view Guest

    Still waiting for the aviation angle on this.. what airline did he fly, which plane type, which class did he fly in, was he escorted airside, any lounge access, what´s his frequent flyer status, anything?
    And yeah, agree on all your points, disguting behaviour, period.
    I will give you credit for actually referencing football, the handball discussion and rules, did not see that coming :-p

    1. 9volt Gold

      I guess you missed the part where this occurred at Budapest Airport, hence the aviation angle.

    2. view Guest

      Like I said sweetheart, where is the aviation angle?

    3. D3kingg Guest

      @View

      Every well rounded well educated person should keep up with current sporting events.

  10. Horus_The_Local New Member

    Soccer x Aviation, the crossover I never knew I needed but now I cannot live without. I was pleasantly surprised seeing such a detailed breakdown on the potential penalty, this wasn’t what I was expecting to read this morning!

  11. Jd Guest

    A handball hitting on your arm/hand when is next to your body is never a penalty kick. What do you expect, they cut their arms? What a stupid nonsense argument....oh well

  12. James S Guest

    The most shocking part as an American is that the cops didnt start blindly firing into the crowd after the chair was thrown

    1. Tom Guest

      I was more shocked that the cop just swatted away that chair nonchalantly. An American cop would have taken a dive, gone to the hospital for their injuries and taken fully paid injured leave for a month. His cop buddies would have tackled and beat the person who threw the chair.

  13. DCJoe Guest

    Typo- The ball hit the hand of a Sevilla player, not a Roma player.

  14. James Barry Guest

    Note that the person on Twitter who justifies the attack is a commercial airline pilot. That person is entrusted with the safety of hundreds of people?

  15. Icarus Guest

    What a sad bunch of losers.
    It is a game, nothing more.
    Imagine how they would react in other situations.
    Mourinho should be disciplined for abuse.

  16. Lxf Guest

    It’s tone deaf to argue that the referee decisions made on the pitch during the game somehow justified the manager and the so called fans behavior after the game. What they did was abuse and assault. It disrespected the game itself, the sports, a great club and ultimately themselves. True fans and stewards of the great game need to speak up against such abomination, not to normalize it.

  17. Bruce Member

    Why do people behave like animals over something as mundane as sport? Football culture in Europe really is out of control.

    1. lasdiner Guest

      Football It’s nice in America instead
      A sedated hobby for chicken wings binge eaters
      Note that Football in Europe is sociologically a sublimation of war
      In the US this type of sports affection is not needed because there are guns and periodical wars to provoke/engage in with the taxpayer wallet every other year, possibly using migrant mercenaries and a good 7-8000 miles away from the backyard where s’mores are lazily toasted

  18. Ben Holz Guest

    yeah probably not the most relevant blog for me to post this, but it's a bit of a joke the inconsistency there is not only across the different UEFA federations in terms of the application of the regulation, but also between referees within a given federation.

    I follow football in Spain and most (probably 90%) of the Spanish refs would have given a penalty because in Spain "unnatural" usually implies your arms/hands are not completely...

    yeah probably not the most relevant blog for me to post this, but it's a bit of a joke the inconsistency there is not only across the different UEFA federations in terms of the application of the regulation, but also between referees within a given federation.

    I follow football in Spain and most (probably 90%) of the Spanish refs would have given a penalty because in Spain "unnatural" usually implies your arms/hands are not completely against your torso. Meanwhile, when following my team in European competitions, similar instances to this one that happened in the Europa League final would often come to nothing because different refs from different federations have different ideas.

    Disgraceful behaviour from both the fans and Mourinho, who at the end of the day is the one who has incited most of this hatred towards Taylor. Nonetheless, I hope UEFA can use this controversy to establish a precise definition for what an illegal hand is and what isn't and then force federations to apply that definition to avoid this $hitshow in the future.

  19. 305 Guest

    Ben doing a break down of this clown ref’s performance in the EL final was the last thing I expected to read this morning

    Zero excuses for the harassment he experienced. That being said, li mortacci tua Taylor! Daje Roma sempre!

    1. lasdiner Guest

      Sempre FORZA MAGGICA ROMA
      haha
      Ben opened a can if worms

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Ben Holz Guest

yeah probably not the most relevant blog for me to post this, but it's a bit of a joke the inconsistency there is not only across the different UEFA federations in terms of the application of the regulation, but also between referees within a given federation. I follow football in Spain and most (probably 90%) of the Spanish refs would have given a penalty because in Spain "unnatural" usually implies your arms/hands are not completely against your torso. Meanwhile, when following my team in European competitions, similar instances to this one that happened in the Europa League final would often come to nothing because different refs from different federations have different ideas. Disgraceful behaviour from both the fans and Mourinho, who at the end of the day is the one who has incited most of this hatred towards Taylor. Nonetheless, I hope UEFA can use this controversy to establish a precise definition for what an illegal hand is and what isn't and then force federations to apply that definition to avoid this $hitshow in the future.

2
Tom Guest

I was more shocked that the cop just swatted away that chair nonchalantly. An American cop would have taken a dive, gone to the hospital for their injuries and taken fully paid injured leave for a month. His cop buddies would have tackled and beat the person who threw the chair.

1
view Guest

Like I said sweetheart, where is the aviation angle?

1
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