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Referee demoted following Wolves v Newcastle controversy

Referee Anthony Taylor has been demoted to the Championship after giving a controversial penalty against Wolves.

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Newcastle took a 2-1 lead at Molineux on Saturday when Taylor gave a penalty against Hwang Hee-chan for supposedly catching Fabian Schar as he looked to clear the ball.

Gary O'Neil described the decision as 'scandalous', despite Hwang going on to score the equaliser in the 2-2 draw.

Magpies manager Eddie Howe also admitted it was a contentious decision, while club legend Alan Shearer agreed.

“I didn’t think it was a penalty,” Shearer said.

“I can understand why the referee has given it on the pitch but then they looked at it so many times in the replays and I still can’t see why it wasn’t overturned.

“If that was given against me, I’d be livid.”

Although the PGMOL have not offered a formal apology to Wolves, for a decision that was widely criticised by pundits and fans, Taylor has been demoted for games this weekend and will now referee the Championship fixture between Preston and Coventry on Saturday – his first time officiating in the second tier since 2019.

Taylor will be on VAR for Luton's game with Liverpool on Sunday, but has not been given a top flight game as referee this weekend, despite taking charge of Champions League games and EURO 2024 qualifying matches this season.

VAR spent a long time looking at the decision at Molineux before deciding not to overturn it and VAR official for that game, Jarred Gillett, has kept his place in the Premier League.

He will be on VAR for Fulham's game with Manchester United on Saturday before taking the game between Nottingham Forest and Villa on Sunday as referee.