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Anthony Taylor 'heads home from Euro 2024' as 32,000 sign petition after Spain vs Germany

Premier League referee Anthony Taylor.
-Credit: (Image: (Image: Getty))


Premier League referee Anthony Taylor has reportedly returned home from Euro 2024 with the official not expecting to officiate the final in Berlin on Sunday, regardless of England's involvement.

Taylor has been at the heart of a storm of criticism since Germany, the host nation, was eliminated by Spain in the quarter-finals. He was in charge of the match in Cologne where Mikel Merino's spectacular 119th-minute header secured a thrilling 2-1 victory for Spain.

Dani Olmo, an early substitute, put Spain ahead before Florian Wirtz breathed life back into Germany with a last-minute equaliser in regular time. Julian Nagelsmann's team believed they should have had a chance to take the lead from the penalty spot in extra time.

Jamal Musiala fired a shot from the edge of the box that hit Chelsea's Marc Cucurella's hand, leading to fervent appeals for a penalty. However, Taylor dismissed these claims, ruling that Cucurella's arm was in a natural position, low and close to his body.

UEFA later quelled the intense backlash against Taylor, supporting the 45-year-old's decision to dismiss the penalty appeals. German media reported that he 'fled the scene' after the final whistle, which only fuelled the significant online abuse directed at him.

The Daily Mail reports that over 32,000 irate fans signed a petition demanding Taylor be penalised for his perceived error and for the quarter-final to be replayed. However, the report suggests that there was no heated exchange of words when Germany's assistant Sandro Wagner entered Taylor's dressing room seeking an explanation.

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Taylor calmly explained his decisions to Wagner before exiting the RheinEnergieSTADION post-shower. Despite the situation not escalating, it seems unlikely that Taylor will officiate another match at Euro 2024, having returned to England recently.

The slim possibility of being called up for Sunday's highly anticipated clash in Berlin is said to have influenced his decision to return home. Italy's Daniele Orsato, who refereed England's quarter-final win over Switzerland, is a potential candidate to officiate the final, although a final decision has yet to be made.

Orsato, 48, is set to retire after Euro 2024 and brings with him experience of managing big events, having refereed the 2020 Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain. Poland's Szymon Marciniak is also in contention, having officiated the 2022 World Cup final between France and Argentina.

Either Spain or France will face off against England or the Netherlands at the Olympiastadion, following the semi-finals on Tuesday and Wednesday.