Chelsea fans sign petition to ban referee Anthony Taylor after awarding Liverpool penalty and sending off Reece James

Thousands of Chelsea fans have signed a petition to ban referee Anthony Taylor from officiating their games in future.

Taylor, 42, has incurred the wrath of Blues supporters after awarding Liverpool a penalty and sending off Reece James for handball in the dying moments of the first-half of Saturday’s match at Anfield.

Mo Salah scored the resulting spot-kick and Chelsea were forced to defend for the second half, but did enough to secure a point after Kai Havertz had opened the scoring.

Despite the positive result Chelsea fans are fuming with Taylor.

Much of the anger is born out of the fact Taylor only looked at the VAR monitor for seconds before making his decision.

In fact, it appeared the ref made up his mind based on a still image of the ball making contact with James’ arm.

Taylor decided it was handball which means, according to the law, the England star had to be dismissed – whether it was deliberate or not.

The petition calling for Taylor to be removed from future Chelsea matches already has more than 44,000 signatures.

And claims have been made suggesting Taylor has harmed fans’ mental health with his actions.

One petition also suggests Taylor has been “constantly biased whenever he officiates a Chelsea match”, and warns that keeping him away from Chelsea games would be good for his own safety.

There is no suggestion or evidence Taylor was biased during the match.

The Twitter mob have been after Taylor too, with one Chelsea supporter saying: “We need to stand up and protest against it. We cannot let him ruin every game he is officiating. FA cup final was same.”

Another added: “He was extremely unfair and biased.”

A third wrote: “Anthony Taylor should be ashamed of himself. And I’m not talking about the penalty or the sending off. So inconsistent with his decisions.”