Premier League duo Stuart Attwell and Anthony Taylor have been chosen to officiate at Euro 2024. The upcoming tournament features the top national teams across the European continent. UEFA, the governing body of the sport in Europe, selected the controversial tandem to take part in the competition.

Both Attwell and Taylor were recently involved in a contentious English top-flight matchup between Everton and Nottingham Forest. The Toffees ended up winning the game 2-0, but Forest fumed during and after the fixture for perceived missed calls by the officials. Taylor was the referee on the pitch, while Attwell was on VAR duty.

The East Midlands side believed that they should have had three different penalty kicks throughout the match. Forest even issued a harsh statement on social media after the defeat. The club claimed that Attwell is a Luton Town fan and essentially wanted Forest to lose. Luton and Forest are currently fighting for Premier League survival at the wrong end of the table.

English tandem involved in several controversies this season

The latest incident, however, is not exactly the only bit of controversy surrounding Attwell or Taylor. Attwell was previously under fire for his performance in the VAR booth during a matchup between Fulham and Wolves in November. Wolves manager Gary O’Neil blasted the official for not overturning a late Fulham penalty. The coach also believed that Fulham striker Carlos Vinicius deserved a red card for a headbutt earlier in the game.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp raged at Attwell in March after he failed to intervene in a controversial call during a matchup with Manchester City. Replays showed that City winger Jeremy Doku kicked Liverpool midfielder Alexis Mac Allister in the chest while inside the penalty area. Referee Michael Oliver did not give the spot kick and Attwell once again failed to intervene. The game eventually ended in a 1-1 draw.

Taylor is also no stranger to controversy as well. The PGMOL sent Taylor down to the Championship after an incorrect penalty decision in a fixture between Wolves and Newcastle. While on assignment in the second tier, Taylor made yet another questionable call to give Preston a penalty kick. Despite back-to-back poor decisions, Taylor returned to the English top flight one week later.

UEFA defends decision to reward controversial refs

Fans, players and coaches will not receive rewarding controversial referees with Euro 2024 appearances well. This is particularly the case with officials suffering demotions in their leagues in recent months.

The English duo, however, are not the only controversial figures in the upcoming competition. Germany’s Felix Zwayer will also referee at Euro 2024 despite previously receiving a ban for match-fixing back in 2005. Jesus Gil Manzano is the official who controversially blew the full-time whistle too soon during a Real Madrid match. UEFA selected him to officiate games.

Nevertheless, UEFA officials have backed their decision regarding referees such as Attwell and Taylor. “We have selected the best referees,” stated Roberto Rosetti, the governing body’s managing director of refereeing. “All chosen referees have performed consistently to the highest standards in UEFA’s top competitions, and also in their domestic competitions.”