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Mourinho charged by UEFA for verbally abusing ref

Published:Saturday | June 3, 2023 | 12:40 AM
Roma’s head coach Jose Mourinho shouts during the Europa League final between Roma and Sevilla at the Puskas Arena stadium in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.
Roma’s head coach Jose Mourinho shouts during the Europa League final between Roma and Sevilla at the Puskas Arena stadium in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.

GENEVA (AP):

José Mourinho was charged by UEFA yesterday after being filmed aggressively cursing at the English match referee in a stadium garage after the Europa League final.

UEFA said the Roma coach is charged for “insulting/abusive language against a match official” — who was later verbally abused by Italian fans at the airport in Budapest — after Sevilla’s title victory in the Hungarian capital this week.

The European football body also pledged to review operations to protect match officials. The airport incident followed the first cup final since a major overhaul of UEFA security planning after the chaotic and dangerous scenes at the Champions League final in Paris one year ago.

Mourinho’s disciplinary case was among a slew of charges UEFA opened into incidents at a testy, bad-tempered game that lasted more than three hours on Wednesday and led to a field invasion by celebrating Spanish fans.

Footage circulated on Thursday of Mourinho approaching referee Anthony Taylor in the garage and calling him a “disgrace”, with an expletive.

Also on Thursday, Taylor and his family were harassed by Roma fans at the airport in Budapest.

The potential link between the two incidents likely means Mourinho will get a more severe sanction than the minimum two-game touchline ban demanded by UEFA disciplinary rules for “insulting or directing abusive language at a match official”.

UEFA said yesterday it “vehemently condemns violent behaviour” directed at the Taylors and called on players, coaches and fans to respect referees.

It also created a security issue at the first showpiece final for UEFA since it was widely blamed in February in a damning report into the near-fatal organisation of the 2022 Champions League final.

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Four weeks ago, UEFA detailed how it would act, upon recommendations by the Paris investigation panel, to create safer cup finals, including giving a greater oversight role to its in-house security department.

Yesterday, UEFA said it would analyse what happened in Budapest and “incorporate valuable insights into our future event planning processes”.

“UEFA maintains a close collaboration with local police and airport security, starting from the referees’ arrival in host cities,” it said. “However, we are constantly striving to enhance the security measures for officials in coordination with local authorities.”

Roma lost to Sevilla in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw that saw players and officials clash on the field and in the technical area.

UEFA charged both teams with improper conduct, which is activated for receiving at least five yellow cards shown. Taylor showed eight to Roma players and officials, including Mourinho, and six to Sevilla.

“The referee seemed like he was Spanish,” Mourinho said after the game. “The result was not fair and there are a lot of instances to re-examine.”

Roma players thought they should have been awarded a penalty kick for a handball, and Mourinho said of them: “We lost, but with dignity.”

Roma also was charged over crowd disturbances and acts of damage. Sevilla was charged because dozens of its fans invaded the field after the match, and for fans throwing objects and lighting fireworks.

UEFA gave no timetable for its disciplinary panel to judge the cases.