Referee Keith Stroud's mistake at Newcastle was unforgivable and made us a world-wide laughing stock

Keith Hackett
Kevin Stroud and is assistants made a bad decision - Newcastle United

Keith Stroud's mistake at Newcastle was unforgivable and suddenly we've become the laughing stock of referees around the world.

I've been inundated with emails from referees from all over the world and our reputation is tarnished by it. 

By awarding an indirect free-kick to Burton Albion, for apparent encroachment when Matt Ritchie took the penalty for Newcastle, Stroud has committed a huge basic error.

He has failed to apply the law and within the remit of the Football Association there could be a suspension served of up to 35 days.

The FA has invoked it in the past with referees that have committed major mistakes and it will be interesting to see if they decide on similar punishment.

Keith Stroud overturned a successful penalty for encroachment

This could have had massive consequences, for both Newcastle and Burton, and you simply cannot make such a basic mistake. Fortunately, the referee got away with it because Newcastle won the game but everybody is talking about the incident.

Keith Stroud is one of the most experienced referees in the league who has officiated as a select group referee in his career.

It's been compounded by having an experienced fourth official plus his two assistants on the line who have the ability to question why he's awarded an indirect free-kick, but I'm amazed they didn't intervene. 

Rafa Benitez voices his displeasure at Keith Stroud Credit: PA

This is another classic case of a referee not being assisted - they changed the title from linesman to assistant referees with the intention of them assisting but they haven't done it.

Rafael Benitez is a very experienced manager who is a sound individual and an excellent knowledge of the laws. He's picked it up very quicky and alerted the officials to what happened on Wednesday night but nobody listened.

The PGMOL cannot just laugh it off with a statement, which was released at the speed of light shortly after the final whistle. 

I've always thought that referees should be made to pass an annual test and this has just enforced it.

In fairness to the PGMOL, they and the FA notify match officials pretty quickly if there are changes to the law but a test should still be applied.

The rest of Europe do the tests but there's an arrogance about it here, where we don't think it needs to be done.

Keith Hackett is a former referee and resident expert for You-Are-The-Ref.com

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