They took their team loyalty a little too far.
Wild video shows fans of Italian soccer team A.S. Roma harassing an English referee at an airport after the club was eliminated from the Europa League final in a shootout this week.
Fans surrounded referee Anthony Taylor and his family as they made their way through Budapest International Airport on Wednesday, chanting and hurling insults at him as others filmed on their phones, video shows.
Taylor can be seen trying to navigate the mob and guarding what appears to be his daughter as a woman clutches his backpack. Airport security in bright orange vest try to hold them back amid the yelling and pushing, the footage shows.
Suddenly, one fan is shown launching a barstool at the ref and his family, which was deflected by a security guard before the family was whisked through a door to safety.
A.S. Roma was defeated by Sevilla 4-1 in penalties on Wednesday after the match finished 1-1 following extra time in the Hungarian capital.
Roma’s coach, José Mourinho, was charged by UEFA on Friday after being filmed aggressively cursing at Taylor in a parking garage after the game, repeatedly calling him a “disgrace.”
The club will also be charged after fans threw objects and lit fireworks in the stands during the rowdy, three-hour game that saw players and coaches clash on the field and ultimately ended with Spanish fans storming the pitch.
Sevilla, who won the Europa League for the seventh time, was also charged for its fan’s behavior.
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 14 total yellow cards were the most ever in a Europa League match, according to Reuters.
“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.
“We lost, but with dignity,” Mourinho said of his team.
After the parking garage tirade went viral Thursday, Mourinho was charged with “insulting/abusive language against a match official,” according to the UEFA, who, in light of the parking garage and airport incidents, has pledged to review operations to protect match officials.
“UEFA maintains a close collaboration with local police and airport security starting from the referees’ arrival in host cities,” the league said in a statement Friday. “However, we are constantly striving to enhance the security measures for officials in coordination with local authorities.”
The Professional Game Match Officials, the body responsible for officiating professional English football, condemned the Roma fans’ behavior at the airport.
“PGMOL [Professional Game Match Officials] is aware of videos circulating on social media showing Anthony Taylor and his family being harassed and abused at Budapest Airport,” the organization said.
“We are appalled at the unjustified and abhorrent abuse directed at Anthony and his family as he tries to make his way home from refereeing to the UEFA Europa League final. We will continue to provide our full support to Anthony and his family,” PGMOL said.
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