Bizarre penalty helps Mainz in Bundesliga relegation battle

Referee Guido Winkmann tells the Mainz players to return to the pitch

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. The referee then reversed his call and awarded Mainz a penalty and had to call the players from both teams back onto the field.

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.

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. Mainz forward Pablo De Blasis duly converted, and the home side went back into the tunnel one goal to the good.

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

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) Can't Be More Hot. Just Reaches All-Time High
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The players then returned to their dressing rooms, however the fans weren't quite done as Mainz supporters suddenly started hurling toilet paper onto the pitch, meaning the second-half was delayed even further as the stewards were left with an almighty clean up.

The ref maybe shouldn't have sent them off as quickly, it depends on how quickly VAR contacted him.

This is the latest VAR-related controversy in a long line of decisions involving the technology.

I still think the penalty is debatable.

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