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

Mainz VAR penalty

Mainz VAR penalty

It came just before the break when Pablo De Blasis converted from the penalty spot to give the hosts a halftime lead - but that was only half the story.

In a crucial relegation encounter in the Bundesliga, Winkmann blew the half-time whistle with the game goalless.

Mainz and Freiburg players arguing over the penalty as the referee makes the decision.

"I was not aware at the time that there was a handball, but when I later saw the images myself, it definitely was", said the ref.

But Freiburg's players were already off the pitch and entering their changing room when they had to be called back. One Freiburg player could even be heard saying: "No, we're not coming back out".

Mainz initially had the penalty appeal turned down after right-back Daniel Brosinski's cross deflected off Freiburg centre-back Marc-Oliver Kempf's hand and was saved by keeper Alexander Schwolow.

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De Blasis sealed the win late on to earn Mainz their first win in seven games.

The second half was further delayed by fans throwing toilet paper on to the pitch, not related to the penalty decision but instead the latest protest against Bundesliga fixtures being played on Monday nights to suit television.

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

With the result, Mainz snapped their six-game winless run to move on to the 15th place and out of the drop zone whereas Freiburg slipped to the 16th position and into the relegation battle.

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.

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