Premier League make Newcastle United official decision after West Ham United controversy

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The officials for Newcastle United v AFC Bournemouth at St James' Park have been confirmed by the Premier League.

Michael Salisbury has been appointed as match referee for Newcastle United's Premier League clash at home to AFC Bournemouth this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

It will be the first time Salisbury has overseen a game involving the Magpies this season with his last being the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in January 2024.

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Prior to that, Salisbury was in the middle for United's goalless draw against Crystal Palace in September 2022 where he controversially ruled out Tyrick Mitchell's own goal after being advised to review his decision at the VAR monitor by Lee Mason.

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It was adjudged that Joe Willock had fouled goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, although replays showed how Mitchell appeared to push the Newcastle midfielder into the Palace goalkeeper.

Salisbury was dropped from the next round of matches after the PGMOL in effect admitted it was the wrong call. A statement read: “PGMOL acknowledge the incidents to disallow the goals in the Chelsea v West Ham and Newcastle v Crystal Palace fixture.

"We will fully co-operate and collaborate with the Premier League and their request to review these two particular incidents, using the outcome as part of the ongoing assessment of weekly performances and the development of our match officials going forward.”

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Salisbury recently come under criticism from former Premier League stars Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole after he failed to award West Ham United a late penalty when Jarrod Bowen was manhandled to the ground by Sheffield United defender Anel Ahmedhodzic. The game finished 2-2. "Absolutely [it was a] penalty,” Cole said. “In the last minute of a game, [defenders] have got to keep [their] composure."[Ahmedhodzic] realises at that moment, and then the panic kicks in. He puts his arms on arm; he’s not looking at the ball. I can’t see how they’ve not looked at that. That’s a rugby tackle.

“The referee has made three massive decisions that have lit this place up. The atmosphere was white hot. He probably just lost his nerve at that time. You need to be a brave referee in situations like that and just referee the game.”

Ferdinand agreed.“[Ahmedhodzic] is not looking at the ball; he’s not even looking at Bowen. He’s got his hands on him. His back is to play, and we can see his number with the ball coming from the opposite side.

"I don’t know how they haven’t looked at that and gone, ‘that’s a stonewall penalty’. If they called that [a penalty], this place would have erupted.” Salisbury will be assisted by Richard West and Akil Howson with Rob Jones and Simon Bennett on VAR duty. The fourth official is Oli Langford.

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