Former referee chief criticises guesswork of penalty decision in Preston North End versus West Bromwich Albion match

Oliver Langford was the man in the middle for Preston North End vs West Bromwich Albion in front of the cameras.
Oliver Langford was the man in the middle for Preston North End vs West Bromwich Albion in front of the cameras.

Former referee chief Keith Hackett has criticised the decision to award West Bromwich Albion a penalty in last night's televised clash with Preston North End as guesswork.

The decision was made in the 90th minute, with Kyle Edwards breaking through the PNE defence and going down under a challenge from Declan Rudd.

Replays showed that Edwards went down without any contact from Rudd and that the penalty shouldn't have been awarded.

Oliver Langford was the man with the whistle for the game and Hackett thought that the referee had guessed when he came to make the decision, such was his position on the pitch when the incident took place.

Langford was about 40 yards away from the foul as it happened and Hackett thinks that fitness is vital in refereeing.

Hackett tweeted: "In refereeing you cannot guess.

"I harp on about the fitness and movement of referees on the field of play.

"The game needs more athletic officials.

"Ref was detached from play and guessed and got it wrong."

Hackett spent 10 years as a FIFA listed referee and is ranked amongst the top 100 referees of all time according to the International Federation of Football History & Statistics.

The Yorkshireman refereed in cup finals and international tournaments throughout a glittering refereeing career and was appointed as general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) after he retired.