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Taylor welcomes return of fans for UEFA Super Cup

17 Sep 2020
Anthony Taylor

Referee says an atmosphere created by supporters makes his job easier as he prepares to oversee Bayern Munich v Sevilla

For referee Anthony Taylor, being chosen to officiate the UEFA Super Cup is particularly exciting because the match is set to take place with fans in the stadium.

Taylor and his team of Premier League officials will oversee the match between UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich and UEFA Europa League victors Sevilla at the Puskas Arena in Budapest, Hungary, on Thursday 24 September.

UEFA plan to allow supporters to fill up to 30 per cent of the stadium, which is welcome news for Taylor, particularly as noise from the crowd makes his job easier.

'Fans change the dynamic'

"Of course, the atmosphere fans create at any match is part of the game, and why people are involved in the game and enjoy refereeing and playing so much," he says.

"I think refereeing in an empty stadium makes it harder because you can hear everything. In a Premier League game, you can hear every bit of contact.

"Every bit of contact does not make it a foul but that is something the whole of our group have been getting used to - judging what is a foul and what is not.

"It certainly changes the dynamic on how you make a decision sometimes.

"It will be great to have a little bit more atmosphere in the stadium, to get back to some sense of normality."

Different styles

While the background noise may feel a little more familiar for Taylor, he faces the challenge of refereeing two teams from different nations.

"The expectation in this country is to allow a lot more physical contact," he says. "International matches pose their own challenges in how you are able to communicate with players, but also the different styles of play as well.

"In the Super Cup you have Bayern, who are an English-style kind of team, and a Spanish team, Sevilla, who are very technical.

"It's very much preparing properly for the contrast in styles of play and the expectations from the teams about the physical contact allowed.

"But within UEFA there are some very clear parameters set down in terms of penalties and handball, interpretations we have started to use more in the Premier League this year.

"It is really humbling to be recognised by UEFA this way but it is down to every single person in the team, not just me."

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