Anthony Taylor is making a quick return to the Premier League after demotion just last week. The English referee was previously dropped from the English top flight due to a widely criticized call during a matchup between Newcastle and Wolves.
Taylor awarded the Magpies a controversial penalty just before the halftime break. The official decided that Wolves forward Hwang Hee-chan fouled Fabian Schar inside the box. Nevertheless, replays showed that contact between the two players was minimal.
PGMOL, the governing body for referees, came out after the match to say that the decision was incorrect. The organization also stated that VAR should have overruled the original call by Taylor. The game eventually ended in a 2-2 draw.
Afterward, Wolves manager Gary O’Neil lambasted the blown decision, as well as VAR’s inability to correct the call. “I thought it was a terrible on-field decision and I thought it was unbelievably surprising that it wasn’t overturned,” proclaimed O’Neil.
“I feel like I waste my time speaking [to the officials] so I will stop speaking to them. Until they improve the level of what they produce, I have no time for them.”
Ref committed another controversial call during demotion
The controversy surrounding Taylor’s decisions did not, however, stop following the Newcastle and Wolves fixture. PGMOL demoted Taylor to the second-tiered Championship on Saturday. The referee called a matchup between Preston North End and Coventry City.
Much like the aforementioned match, Taylor awarded Preston a penalty kick just before halftime. The referee declared that Coventry captain Kyle McFadzean fouled Preston’s Milutin Osmajic inside the box. Replays, however, showed that there was not much contact with Osmajic. VAR is not currently in place in the Championship.
Alan Browne stepped up and converted the spot kick to give Preston the lead entering the second half. Preston would go on to win the match 3-2. The victory took the Lilywhites up to sixth in the stands. Nevertheless, Coventry’s defeat puts the Sky Blues dangerously close to the relegation zone.
Anthony Taylor set to officiate Chelsea’s upcoming match with City
Despite Taylor’s controversy, he is back in the Premier League. Not only has the English top flight allowed the referee to make a quick comeback despite another debatable decision, but he has been given a massive matchup.
Taylor will be in charge of Manchester City’s visit to Chelsea on Sunday, Nov. 12. The matchup is undoubtedly the top fixture of the weekend. It is difficult to comprehend Taylor’s return after demotion and then a mistake in the Championship.
Awarding this referee the marquee matchup of the week also sends a terrible message to the players, coaches, and fans. It tells those involved with the Premier League, widely considered to be the top division in the world, that officials can continue to make mistakes without real penalties.
Taylor’s recent mishap is far from the lone controversial call in the Premier League this season. Liverpool suffered a defeat to Spurs after referees wrongly disallowed a Luis Diaz goal. Then, Arsenal was seething when VAR failed to spot a foul on defender Gabriel during Newcastle’s lone goal of the game at the weekend.
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