Referee Officials Dropped Following Controversial Manchester United vs Wolves Game

In a significant development, the match officials responsible for overseeing the recent clash between Manchester United and Wolves have been dropped from officiating Premier League games this upcoming weekend. This move follows the controversy stemming from the failure to award Wolves a stoppage-time penalty during the game, as reported by Sky News.

The decision to exclude the match officials from the upcoming round of Premier League fixtures was made in response to the error that occurred during the Manchester United vs Wolves match. The trio of officials involved in the game – referee Simon Hooper, VAR Michael Salisbury, and assistant VAR Richard West – will not be assigned any duties for this weekend’s matches.

The incident in question involved Wolves not being granted a stoppage-time penalty despite Manchester United goalkeeper André Onana colliding with Wolves striker Sasa Kalajdzic. While the incident was reviewed by the VAR, the on-field referee was not instructed to re-evaluate the situation using the pitchside monitor. As the incident was not considered a clear and obvious error, the referee’s initial decision stood.

Howard Webb, who holds the position of referees’ chief at Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), extended an apology to Wolves following the error. Webb emphasized the importance of referees taking responsibility for their decisions and actions.

Jonathan Moss, former top-flight referee and the select group one manager at PGMOL, also engaged with Wolves’ head coach, Gary O’Neil, after the game. Moss acknowledged the penalty should have been awarded and expressed his regret for the misjudgment. Despite the acknowledgment, Manchester United secured a 1-0 victory through a Raphaël Varane goal.

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Webb recently announced a plan to make audio recordings of VAR decisions accessible to the public on a monthly basis through the Premier League’s overseas broadcasting platform. He also indicated a willingness to consider referees explaining their decisions to fans in stadiums if the ongoing trial, including the Women’s World Cup, proves successful and worthwhile.

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