Monday, 20 August, 2018

Bizarre penalty helps Mainz past relegation rivals Freiburg

Mainz VAR penalty GETTYMainz star Pablo de Blasis scored from the spot after the VAR confusion
Domingo Copeland | 17 April, 2018, 20:18

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.

Referee Guido Winkmann gestures to the players of Mainz to return to the pitch during the Bundesliga match between 1. The win took Mainz out of the bottom three with their opponents dropping down to the relegation play-off place.

Referee Guido Winkmann, who'd allowed play to continue, then blew for halftime and was on his way off the pitch when notified by video referee Bibiana Steinhaus, who was watching in Cologne, that he should check a replay.

Kleindienst, on as a half-time substitute, almost equalised with a header at the right end moments later but the visitors were made to pay in the 78th minute.

The Bundesliga clash was already eventful enough with ongoing protests aimed towards the league's hierarchy for playing the match on a Monday, and a VAR incident which plunged the match into disarray.

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"But for us who try to attend every game in the stadium it's quite hard to travel on Monday to a match".

Eventually, Alexander Schwolow made his way back onto the pitch, but conceded the spot-kick to Pablo de Blasis in what turned out to be the 52nd minute of the first half.

Freiburg sporting director Jochen Saier spoke to Eurosport at half-time and revealed how perplexed he was by the decision to award a penalty during the half-time break.

After the stewards cleared the paper strands, they threw another round they held back in reserve to delay the second half even further.

So moments after blowing the half-time whistle the referee opted to consult the VAR system.

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