The Premier League has excluded referees Simon Hooper, Michael Salisbury, and Richard West from officiating any games this weekend after they failed to award a penalty to Wolverhampton Wanderers in their defeat to Manchester United on Monday.
The incident occurred in added time, when Wolves striker Sasa Kalajdzic was clattered by United goalkeeper Andre Onana as he challenged for a cross. The referee and VAR both ruled that no penalty was awarded, but replays showed that Onana had clearly fouled Kalajdzic.
Wolves manager Bruno Lage was furious with the decision, and he called for the officials to be punished. “It was a clear penalty,” he said. “The referee was in front of it, and the VAR had all the angles. It’s a joke.”
The Premier League has since responded to the incident, and it has announced that Hooper, Salisbury, and West will not be officiating any games this weekend. In a statement, the league said that it “takes all refereeing decisions very seriously, and we are committed to ensuring that the highest standards are met.”
The decision to exclude the officials from this weekend’s matches is a significant one, and it sends a message that the Premier League will not tolerate mistakes of this magnitude. It is also a reminder that VAR is not infallible, and that it is still a work in progress.
The incident has also reignited the debate about the use of VAR in the Premier League. Some argue that VAR has made the game fairer, while others believe that it has slowed the game down and made it more difficult for referees to make decisions.
The Premier League will need to carefully consider the feedback from this incident and make changes to the VAR system if it is to be successful in the long term.