Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

VAR gives Mainz weird penalty after half-time whistle

Mainz VAR penalty REUTERSMainz wait for the Freiburg players to return from their dressing room
Shannon Reynolds | 17 April, 2018, 01:43

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).

The Freiburg players were understandably outraged, in stark contrast to Mainz midfielder Pablo de Blasis who couldn't believe his luck as he gleefully stepped up and fired the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead in the most bewildering of ways.

By this point players from both sides had walked down the tunnel for the interval before Winkmann changed his decision and recalled the teams so Mainz could take their spot kick.

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

The penalty was given for a handball by Marc-Oliver Kempf that the VAR noticed after the halftime whistle had blown.

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Footage from broadcaster Eurosport during the incident showed that players from both teams were already in their respective dressing rooms when Winkmann requested they return to the field.

The Freiburg keeper gifted Mainz possession inside his own penalty area, and Colin Quaison squared the ball to provide De Blasis with an open goal.

But, as it turned out the home supporters were in fact protesting against Bundesliga fixtures being played on Monday nights.

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.

After finally getting their half-time break, the players were forced to wait again for the second half after Mainz fans threw hundreds of rolls of toilet paper onto the pitch in protest against Monday night games.

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