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

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

A bizarrely awarded penalty and a goalkeeping howler helped Mainz to a vital 2-0 victory over Bundesliga relegation rivals Freiburg on Monday (Apr 16).

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.

Following a delay of over six minutes De Blasis scored the penalty in the bottom left corner and Winkmann blew again for half-time, during which the unfortunate Kempf was substituted.

But Freiburg's players were already off the pitch and entering their changing room when they had to be called back.

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Freiburg coach Christian Streich, who was recently sent off for dissent in a league match, was pictured on the sideline smiling and shaking his head in disbelief after being told to bring his players back out. Some were looking at TVs to determine exactly what was going on. Referee Guido Winkmann initially allowed the game to play on, denying Mainz a penalty, before blowing for halftime shortly thereafter. "That wasn't the case in this scene, we have to accept that with heavy hearts".

Finally, in the seventh minute of added time, De Blasis converted the penalty.

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

The second half was delayed by fans throwing toilet paper onto the pitch. Wolfsburg is also under threat with four rounds remaining, while survival looks increasingly unlikely for Hamburger SV and Cologne, eight and nine points adrift of safety, respectively.

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