Monday, 23 July, 2018

VAR chaos strikes again as Bundesliga referee hands Mainz 'half-time' penalty

Mainz VAR penalty REUTERSThe Freiburg players challenge referee Guido Winkmann
Kristopher Love | 17 April, 2018, 04:54

There were freakish scenes in the Bundesliga on Monday as Mainz and Freiburg players returned to the pitch so a penalty could be taken before half-time.

As the players departed the pitch, Winkmann was told to consult VAR and ran over to the other side of the pitch to watch the replay on a monitor. Some were looking at TVs to determine exactly what was going on.

Freiburg's Marc-Oliver Kempf was ruled to have handled the ball seconds before the whistle, and he and his team-mates were called back from the dressing room for the penalty to be taken.

Both sets of players had already left the pitch for the interval when the technology flagged up a handball at the end of the first period, reports Guardian football journalist Andy Brassell on social media. "That wasn't the case in this scene, we have to accept that with heavy hearts".

One goal defined this relegation six-pointer between Mainz and Freiburg on Monday night, and it was an odd one to say the least. "Things are getting stranger". After the stewards cleared the paper strands, they threw another round they held back in reserve to delay the second half even further.

A mistake from Schwolow in the final minutes allowed De Blasis to seal the home side's first win since January.

Mainz climbed to 15th on goal difference above Freiburg who fell to 16th, the relegation playoff spot.