By Sedara Philip
Three Premier League officials at the centre of a decision not to award a penalty to Wolves at Manchester United have been overlooked for this weekend’s matches.
Wolves were denied a late penalty on Monday when United keeper Andre Onana crashed into Sasa Kalajdzic and failed to make contact with the ball
Wolves boss Gary O’Neil said elite referees manager Jon Moss told him he “could not believe” the error.
It is also understood referees’ chief Howard Webb, who is head of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), contacted Wolves officials after the match to apologise.
Referee Simon Hooper, video assistant referee (VAR) Michael Salisbury and assistant VAR Richard West are regarded as “not selected” rather than “dropped” as the weekend appointments had not been made prior to Monday’s game.
However, the move is a direct result of the collective failure to award the injury-time penalty and is part of Webb’s demand for enhanced accountability for mistakes.
“Jon Moss said it was a blatant penalty and should have been given – fair play to him, he apologised,” said O’Neil after the match, which United won with Raphael Varane’s 76th-minute header.
“I have spent a lot of time with him today to understand the new guidelines, trying not to get myself booked in the first game, which I have failed in.
“But fair play to Jon for coming out and saying it was a clear and obvious error – he couldn’t believe the on-field referee didn’t give it and can’t believe VAR didn’t intervene.
“It probably made me feel worse, actually, because you know you are right. I feel worse about leaving with nothing. Live, I was told they didn’t think it was a clear and obvious error.”
Moss, who was appointed general manager of England’s elite referees within PGMOL in April, sought out O’Neil between his broadcast and written media obligations.
In April, Salisbury was stood down for a game after he did not intervene to award Brighton a penalty in a defeat at Tottenham while also acting as the VAR.
Former leading referee Webb spoke before the season began about his desire to drive up standards and reduce high-profile mistakes.