Wolverhampton manager Gary O’Neill said he was told by Elite Referees Manager Jon Moss that it was “incredible” his team were not awarded a penalty at Manchester United.
The hosts won 1-0 at Old Trafford Thanks to Raphael Varane’s header.
O’Neill was furious that his side were not awarded a late penalty when United goalkeeper Andre Onana collided with Sasa Kalajdzic and failed to make contact with the ball.
“Jon Moss said it was an outrageous penalty and it should have been awarded – he apologized to him,” O’Neill said.
“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 managing director of England’s elite referees at Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) in April, sought O’Neil between his broadcasting and written media commitments.
It is understood that PGMOL chairman Howard Webb also called Wolves officials after the match to apologize for the error.
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.” .