Players summoned from changing room for halftime penalty

Paola Ditto
Aprile 17, 2018

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.

But a VAR intervention saw Winkmann call the players back from the dressing rooms after a handball by Freiburg defender Marc-Oliver Kempf was spotted on video replays.

One goal defined this relegation six-pointer between Mainz and Freiburg on Monday night, and it was an odd one to say the least. The Mainz forward then picked out his teammate De Blasis who slotted home - luckily off the post.

After a lengthy delay, Pablo De Blasis stepped up to take the spot-kick for Mainz, beating Alexander Schwolow in the seventh minute of stoppage time to open the scoring for his side.

It was not related to the penalty decision but instead a protest against Bundesliga fixtures being played on Monday nights.

When the game was eventually restarted Mainz doubled their lead in the 78th minute after a shocking error from the visiting keeper, who gifted the hoists the second and final goal of the game.

It was so loud that Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz even said afterwards that it was distracting, while VAR project leader Lutz Michael Fröhlich even suggested the noise had hampered the referee's ability to hear the video assistant on the crucial penalty call.

The second half was delayed by fans throwing toilet paper onto the pitch.

The VAR system has been used in the Bundesliga this season but not without controversy as it has been at the centre of several disputed decisions.

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