By Keith Hackett

29th Sep, 2021 | 7:00am

Watford star King should have been punished for Newcastle controversy as ex-Premier League ref analyses footage

Watford hitman Josh King should have been booked for removing his shirt despite the fact his late strike against Newcastle was ruled out.

So says ex-Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road on 25 September.

King thought he had turned one point into three for the Hornets when he pounced after Moussa Sissoko’s saved long-range shot fell at his feet.

The Norwegian forward ran towards the crowd and tore off his shirt in celebration, but the goal was disallowed for offside after a VAR review.

Referee Jarred Gillett was wrong not to caution King irrespective of whether the 89th-minute would-be winner was ruled out, claims Hackett.

“He has got this one wrong, Jarred Gillett,” he told Football Insider‘s Connor Whitely after analysing clips of the match.

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“The fact a goal has not been given should not have any bearing on whether the player is cautioned. That’s obvious.

“The referee, in this instance, should definitely have shown a card. Maybe he missed him taking his shirt off in the celebrations.

“But the assistants and the fourth official can all talk to each other via their headsets. Someone could easily have said something in his ear.”

Gillett, 34, made history as the first foreign referee to oversee a Premier League fixture in Saturday’s clash.

The Australian handed out seven yellow cards in a baptism of fire at Vicarage Road.

In other news, top Premier League side tipped to launch new move for Watford star in January after what pundit has seen.