Three Premier League officials have been snubbed at the center of a decision not to award Wolves penalty at Manchester United for this weekend’s matches.
Wolves were denied a penalty late on Monday when United goalkeeper Andre Onana collided with Sasa Kalajdzic and failed to make contact with the ball.
United won 1-0 at Old Trafford.
Wolves president Gary O’Neill said elite refereeing coach John Moss told him he “unbelievable” the foul.
It is also understood that Chief Referee Howard Webb, who heads Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), also called the Wolves officials after the match to apologise.
Referee Simon Hooper, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Michael Salisbury and Assistant Video Referee Richard West are deemed “not picked” rather than “dropped” as no weekend dates have been set before Monday’s game.
However, the move is a direct result of the collective failure to award an injury time penalty and is part of Webb’s demand for enhanced accountability for fouls.
“Jon Moss said it was a flagrant penalty and it should have been awarded – fair play to him, he apologised,” O’Neill said after the match, which United won with a Raphael Varane header in the 76th minute.
“I spent a lot of time with him today understanding the new guidelines, trying not to lock myself in the first game, which I failed at.
“But John’s fair play because he said it was a clear and obvious mistake – he couldn’t believe the referee on the pitch didn’t give it and he couldn’t believe that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) didn’t intervene.
“Maybe it made me feel bad, actually, because you know you’re right. I feel bad about leaving with nothing. I’m told they didn’t think it was a clear, obvious mistake.”
Moss, who was appointed general manager of England’s elite referees at PGMOL in April, sought O’Neil between his broadcasting and written media commitments.
Simon Hooper was the referee not to penalize the incident while Michael Salisbury was the VAR.
In April, Salisbury was ruled out for a match after he did not step in to award Brighton a penalty in the defeat by Tottenham while also acting as the VAR.
Former head referee Webb spoke before the season started of his desire to raise standards and reduce high-profile fouls.
Onana disagreed with O’Neill and Moss, saying that the incident was just a natural gathering of players.
Asked if it was a penalty, the Cameroonian international said: “No, goalkeepers make decisions, sometimes they are right, sometimes they are not.
“I made a decision and I’m responsible for everything. For me it was the connection between two great people and nothing happened. But for us the most important thing was to win and I’m happy with this win.
Of course I was confident (a penalty kick would not be awarded).”
“It can always happen,” United manager Eric ten Hag said when asked if he was worried about whether Hooper would go into the screen as he moved towards the side of the pitch.
In fact, the referee would have booked O’Neal for protesting, in keeping with the zero-tolerance policy for any managerial aggression toward officials this season.
“I spoke to Howard Webb every Sunday last season about decisions that didn’t go our way,” former Bournemouth manager O’Neill said. “I felt it connected to us being Bournemouth.
“I don’t think the officials favor one side, I just think it’s human nature if there’s something I’m not quite sure about, you and I, everyone will be affected by the Old Trafford crowd and the fact that it’s Manchester United. But the VAR should be able to award a penalty.” .