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Newcastle left reeling after bizarre refereeing blunder

6:14 AM GMT+8 06/04/2017
Rafa Benitez
The Championship side had a penalty taken away by a massive mistake from official Keith Stroud as he misapplied the laws of the game

Referee Keith Stroud apparently has some issues understanding the rules regarding penalties. 

During the Championship showdown between Burton Albion and Newcastle United the match official made a massive blunder in taking away a penalty from the Magpies after Dwight Gayle encroached in the penalty area as Matt Ritchie approached the spot kick. 

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Rather than following the laws and having the penalty re-taken, Stroud and his team decided that the encroachment would result in the awarding of a free kick to Burton!

The decision left Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez fuming on the sidelines as his side looked for all three points.

Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the referee organisation for all Football League matches, released a statement condemning the decision as incorrect. 

"In this evening's EFL Championship match between Newcastle United and Burton Albion, referee Keith Stroud awarded Newcastle a penalty in the 29th minute. As Matt Ritchie took the kick, Dwight Gayle encroached in the penalty area.

"An indirect free kick was awarded to Burton, but the Laws of the Game state that the penalty kick should have been retaken.

"Unfortunately the referee has misapplied the Law. Keith and his team and understandably upset at the lapse in concentration and apologise for the mistake,"  the PGMOL statement reads. 

Luckily for Newcastle, who are looking for a direct return to the Premier League, the decision did not prove costly as the club went on to secure a 1-0 win, with Ritchie eventually getting himself on the scoresheet.