Referee Keith Stroud will not officiate Gillingham’s home game with Millwall on Saturday after his mistake at Newcastle.
The 47-year-old has been withdrawn from the Sky Bet League One game while referees’ body, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, reviews Wednesday’s penalty incident, Press Association Sport understands.
Stroud disallowed Matt Ritchie’s first-half penalty in their 1-0 win over Burton and awarded the Brewers an indirect free-kick rather than ask for the spot-kick to be retaken after Dwight Gayle encroached.
Rules of the game indicated Newcastle should have been allowed a second chance from 12 yards and the PGMOL confirmed Stroud had made an error.
It is not yet clear how long the review will take or when Stroud will next officiate and the statement from PGMOL on Wednesday evening said the referee had apologised for his mistake.
“In the Championship game between Newcastle United and Burton Albion, referee Keith Stroud awarded Newcastle a penalty in the 29th minute,” the statement read.
“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 are understandably upset at the lapse in concentration and apologise for the mistake.”
Newcastle won the game through Ritchie’s second-half goal to leave them top of the Sky Bet Championship and 10 points clear of the play-off spots.
Boss Rafael Benitez said of the penalty controversy: “You have seen the incident, you have a lot of experts to analyse, I was talking to the referee. I will not keep talking about that.
“For me it was an important game, a fantastic goal from Matt Ritchie, a great goal. There was work rate, a lot of positives and unfortunately we talk about the incident.
“The referee and me have been talking. We need to move forward. We can’t change what happened. We got three points. We have to be ready to be stronger for the next one. After the incident we were losing our focus. We won.
“We knew this team was difficult to break down and to beat with a line of five at the back. We needed to make sure there was no mistake. We did it until the end and we couldn’t be relaxed.”