Referee Simon Hooper and both video assistant referees from Wolves’ 1-0 defeat at Manchester United on Monday night have been stood down from the next set of Premier League fixtures, the PA news agency understands.
Wolves head coach Gary O’Neil revealed he had received an apology from elite referees’ manager Jon Moss after his side were denied a “blatant” stoppage-time penalty when United’s debutant goalkeeper Andre Onana clattered into Sasa Kalajdzic deep into stoppage time.
Hooper did not react to the incident, and VAR Michael Salisbury deemed there was no foul – with an incredulous O’Neil instead booked for his reaction to the decision.
PA understands head of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) Howard Webb, who has demanded a higher level of accountability as well as an open and transparent approach, had also been in touch with Wolves after the match to apologise.
Hooper, VAR Salisbury and assistant VAR Richard West have all not been selected for the second round of Premier League fixtures.
Appointments for those games had not yet been made public ahead of Monday’s night’s match at Old Trafford. All three officials were absent from the ‘Matchweek 2’ list published by the Premier League on Tuesday morning.
Speaking after Monday’s defeat, during which Wolves created plenty of chances, O’Neil said he thought Onana was trying to “take Kalajdzic’s head off”.
The new Wolves head coach added: “Fair play to Jon (Moss) in coming out (to talk to me).
“He said it was clear and obvious and he can’t believe the on-field referee didn’t give it and he can’t believe VAR didn’t intervene.
“It’s probably made me feel worse to be honest because once you know you’re right you feel worse about leaving with nothing.”