PGMOL, the referees body, apologized to Wolverhampton Wanderers within minutes of the match Their controversial 1-0 defeat away to Manchester United After not giving them a flagrant penalty in stoppage time.
Wolves’ new technical director Gary O’Neil has revealed he has spoken to former referee Jonathan Moss who is now manager of Select Group 1 at PGMOL.
O’Neal revealed: “After he spoke to Jonathan Moss, he came out, apologized and said it was a blatant penalty.”
“Sometimes I feel bad. I spent a lot of time with him (Moss) today, and gave up a lot of my time understanding the new guidelines and trying not to book myself in the first game, which I failed at, but fair play to John for coming out and saying it was a clear and obvious mistake and no He can believe the on-field referee didn’t give it and he can’t believe Farr didn’t step in. It might actually make me feel bad because you know you’re right. I feel bad about leaving with nothing.”
Moss’ ruling was strangely at odds with the initial reaction of PGMOL – the professional game’s official match board – which claimed that Farr had examined and exonerated the incident. It wasn’t considered a clear, obvious foul, so they stuck with the decision on the field.
To add insult to injury, O’Neill was cautioned for protesting by referee Simon Hooper who did not ask Farr’s Michael Salisbury to review the incident in which United goalkeeper Andre Onana accused striker Sassa Kalajdzic.
It appeared the penalty should have been awarded, but Hooper was not asked to check with the pitchside observer while Salisbury is no stranger to controversy over being sacked from his Premier League duties after a blunder in Brighton’s defeat by Tottenham Hotspur last season.
The incident increased the wolves’ sense of injustice. Take control of the game and failure to take the clearest opportunity. O’Neill, who only took charge last week, was Bournemouth manager last season and felt at the time that refereeing decisions were against his team.
“I spoke to Howard Webb (PGMOL Chief Refereeing Officer) almost every Sunday last season about decisions that didn’t go our way at Bournemouth… I think it’s human nature that if there’s something you’re not quite sure about, it gets affected by Before the Old Trafford crowd. That’s where Var comes in.”
O’Neill added: “I thought live was a penalty kick. It looked like the keeper almost lifted our striker’s head. I think that’s a mistake, you go for the ball and hit the player hard, it’s a penalty. I thought he was going to the screen at first but unfortunately he booked me not Onana “.
United manager Eric ten Hag defended Onana and the decision not to award the penalty. “He made a very good save, he was very calm and he made a good debut,” said Ten Hag. “After the opponent touched the ball, he jumped at it so the referee was one of the referees and we were unlucky that there was no penalty kick. I think you can debate it but I think there is no penalty.”
“It’s tough. The keeper was brave to come out to meet the ball. The ball was touched before Andre went down, so it didn’t affect the touch (try) from the Wolves player.”