Former referee chief Keith Hackett has hit out at news that Keith Stroud has been banned for 28 days following his calamitous mistake in Newcastle United ’s game against Burton.
Stroud wrongly awarded an indirect free-kick to Burton after Dwight Gayle encroached as Matt Ritchie took a penalty kick midway through the first half. Ritchie put the ball in the back of the net, meaning that Stroud should have ordered the kick to be re-taken rather than given a free-kick.
Stroud and his team were taken off duty for the following match - a clash between Gillingham and Millwall. But now it is being reported that he has been suspended for a total of 28 days.
Fans, pundits and ex-referees all criticised Stroud for the mistake at St James’ Park earlier this month and while Hackett concedes Stroud should have been banned he feels 28 days is too much.
Writing on his blog he said: “The error hit the headlines and whilst it impacted on the score it did not impact on the result. I have no doubt that a suspension was appropriate and for me three games should be sufficient.
“However at such an important part of the season Keith Stroud has apparently been served with a 28-day suspension and his colleagues 14 days.
“This frankly is draconian and means that Keith might be punished by a loss of five or more games. When I look at the recent punishments that are handed out to managers it appears to me that match officials are soft targets who will not say anything.
“So I will suggest to the Football Association that they need to look again at how they treat officials fairly for all please.”
Hackett is well wide of the mark and it's one referee defending another.
Stroud KNOWS the rules ... yet he gave a bizarre decision to stop Newcastle scoring.
As simple as that!
That was cheating! Ban him for life!