Ban Anthony Taylor from refereeing Chelsea games, demand thousands of livid fans; Thomas Tuchel agrees
A petition calling for referee Anthony Taylor to be banned from officiating Chelsea matches has received thousands of signatures after Sunday's fiery clash with Tottenham Hotspur ended in a 2-2 draw.
Thousands of livid Chelsea fans have signed a petition demanding that referee Anthony Taylor be prohibited from overseeing the Blues' games following Sunday's tense encounter that finished in a 2-2 tie against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge.
The change.org petition claims that Anthony Taylor "has continued to make huge judgements against Chelsea throughout the years in big matches," and as of this writing, about 75,000 people had signed it.
"Taylor has an agenda against Chelsea and should not be allowed to referee a game involving the club again," the petition adds.
The Chelsea fan that drafted the petition continues by listing several complaints the team has about Taylor and referencing instances that, in their opinion, "show" he shouldn't be permitted to officiate club matches.
They featured both of Tottenham's goals from Sunday, where Harry Kane's injury-time equaliser saved a point for the visitors.
In the moments before Kane's goal, Tottenham defender Cristian Romero tugged at the hair of Chelsea's Marc Cucurella, although he went unpunished.
Additionally, there was debate around Tottenham's first equaliser of the game, which was scored by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg but was upheld despite Richarlison's offside position. After reviewing the incident with VAR Mike Dean, it was determined that the Brazilian striker wasn't obstructing Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy's view.
Also, Rodrigo Bentancur appeared to foul Kai Havertz in the build-up to Hojbjerg's equaliser, which also sparked a verbal duel between Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel and Tottenham manager Antonio Conte.
Kalidou Koulibaly and Reece James had given Chelsea the lead twice in the game. Still, they ultimately had to settle for a draw in a contentious match that saw Tuchel and Conte receive red cards after shoving on the touchline twice during the high-octane clash.
Speaking at full-time, Tuchel admitted he has a problem with referee Anthony Taylor. "Absolutely," he said when asked if the fans were right to disagree with his decisions.
"I don't think just some of the fans think that. I can assure you the whole dressing room of us, every single person, thinks that. I can't understand how the first goal is not offside and I can't understand when a player is pulled by their hair, the other player stays on the pitch," the Chelsea boss said.
"Pull someone else's hair, stay on the pitch and attack the last corner. This is for me without any explanation and I don't want to accept it. Both goals should not stand and it's a fair result because we were brilliant, deserved to win. This is my point of view," Tuchel added.
Asked whether Chelsea players were worried about Anthony Taylor being in charge of their games, the German said "yeah, of course" before responding to a suggestion the referee should not officiate their matches.
"Maybe it would be better," continued Tuchel. "Maybe it would be better. But honestly, we also have VAR to help make the right decision. Since when can players be pulled by hair? Since when is that [not a foul]? If he does not see it, I do not blame him. I didn't see it."
"But we have people at VAR who check this. Then you see it and how can this not be a free-kick and a red card? This doesn't even had to do with the referee in this case. If he does not see something, that's why we have people to check if there is a decisive error going on," Tuchel said.
"When Reece James did a tactical foul it was a yellow card, how many tactical fouls did [Pierre-Emile] Hojbjerg do today? He hit Reece James in his neck in front of both benches and the fourth official told me they'd go back to it because it was advantage. Did he go back to it? No he did not. Bentancur did three, four, five, six tactical fouls [and didn't get a yellow card]. It's a clear foul on Kai Havertz who goes towards goal. It stands and goes and it's the build to the 1-1. Huge, huge misinterpretation of situations. I'm happy to let the game go, but let it go in every direction please and not like this. This is, yeah, it's what it is today and it will not go away. I don't even know if I will get punished for my sentences now," the Chelsea boss remarked.
On his clash with Conte, Tuchel said, "I just compared it to two players who have a fight on the field. If you have a hard tackle and a far tackle, and you go and apologise. Both of us were fighting with our teams. There were no insults, and no one got hurt. For me, it was not a big deal."
Meanwhile, Twitter exploded with several angry Chelsea fans demanding a ban on Anthony Taylor. Here's a look at some of the reactions: