Football video referee calls players back to pitch after halftime

Mainz VAR penalty

REUTERSMainz wait for the Freiburg players to return from their dressing room

Mainz benefited from a freaky penalty decision which helped to seal a controversial 2-0 victory over fellow strugglers Freiburg in the Bundesliga.

Freiburg appeared to have gotten off the hook before half-time as defender Marc-Oliver Kempf looked to have handled the ball only for the incident not to be picked up.

After a delay of six minutes, Mainz were 1-0 up.

Defeat meant Freiburg dropped behind Mainz into the relegation zone due to an inferior goal-difference, with four games of the season remaining.

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The players had already gone off for the interval when the German official Guido Winkmann consulted the video assistant referee (VAR) about a Freiburg handball in the last moments of the first-half.

Freiburg's players had to be summoned from the dressing room and back onto the pitch to allow the home side to take their penalty.

"It leaves a bitter taste", Freiburg sporting director Jochen Saier said.

VAR was introduced to eradicate refereeing mistakes and make the game smoother, so far it's only brought chaos though.


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A Bundesliga match descended into chaos as the referee awarded a penalty during half-time after checking the VAR.

Indeed, the goal proved to be a major turning point and Mainz put the seal on a crucial victory in the 79th minute when De Blasis capitalised on a awful goalkeeping error to slot home.

Supporters also forced the game to be paused by throwing rolls of toilet paper on to the pitch as a protest against the Bundesliga's introduction of matches on Monday nights.

De Blasis, who'd had to wait for Alexander Schwolow to re-take his place in goal, held his nerve to score inside the left corner as the Freiburg 'keeper dived the other way.

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