As Jose Mourinho hounded down Anthony Taylor after Roma’s Europa League Final loss to Sevilla, he started a wave of dismal behavior coming out of the Roma supporter base. The Portuguese manager, losing his first European final, waited for the English referee in the garage after the contest.
It was truly disgusting behavior. Worse off, it carried over from antics on the field. At one point during the game, Mourinho was so fired up with officials and the Sevilla bench, that his own players and staff had to hold him back from causing what could have been a brawl. Mourinho, as a manager, picked up a yellow card.
While that yellow card does not yield an automatic suspension, UEFA and Serie A should look into dishing out a suspension of their own. Referee dissent is nothing new for the manager. In February 2022, Mourinho picked up a two-game suspension for referee dissent in Serie A play. Even back in his Chelsea days, Mourinho faced suspensions for harsh in-game criticism of referees.
However, this instance is different. Not only was this a repeat offense from Mourinho in the last several months. This was, by some margin, his most egregious act against an official. ‘Against an official’ is key, as the Portuguese manager did get a five-game ban for different offenses in a Champions League semifinal against Barcelona when he was the manager at Real Madrid. Most of those were accusations of cheating against Barcelona.
Precedence for a Jose Mourinho suspension
In the past, when managers vehemently clash with referees, suspensions came down. This includes the elite managers of the modern era. UEFA issued Pep Guardiola a two-game suspension in the Champions League for conduct in a Champions League quarterfinal. Jurgen Klopp questioned the integrity of a Premier League referee just this past month. The FA handed out a two-game ban.
Sir Alex Ferguson had a major suspension of five games. His outspoken criticisms pocketed him a charge of improper conduct.
What Jose Mourinho did with Anthony Taylor is considerably worse than what each of these three did. Not only did Mourinho display improper conduct, but there is a chance Mourinho was physically threatening Taylor. The manager had no business waiting for Taylor in the parking garage after the game, much less considering Mourinho got his emotions and feelings across during the game itself.
Regardless of whether Anthony Taylor missed a potential handball or not, Mourinho’s antics have no place. Even though Mourinho is one of the greatest managers in the sport’s history, his emotional outburst could have negative consequences.
The spillover of emotion
On Thursday, the spillover of Roma’s frustrations led to the club’s supporters viciously harassing Taylor on his way out of Budapest. The referee, traveling out of Hungary with his family, faced screaming Roma fans who hurled water bottles and the odd chair in the general direction of Taylor. Rather than engaging with the mob, Taylor hurried his family out of the area.
Certainly, Mourinho is not responsible for this behavior. Soccer fans regardless of the club, league or nation can often let their feelings get the better of them. Still, Roma fans may have seen their manager act out against Taylor, so they felt it in their best interest to do the same.
One of the only ways to teach Jose Mourinho a lesson at this stage in his career with all the success he has had is a lengthy suspension. If Aleksandar Mitrovic is getting eight games for ‘bumping’ referee Chris Kavanagh, a similar suspension should come down on Jose Mourinho.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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