VAR calls players back from dressing room for penalty

VAR calls players back from dressing room for penalty

Guido Winkmann, the referee in the Bundesliga relegation battle between Mainz and Freiburg at the Opel Arena, had blown for the interval when he was alerted by the VAR to a handball in the Freiburg area.

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.

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

Freiburg coach Christian Streich, who was recently sent off for dissent in a league match, was on the sideline smiling and shaking his head in disbelief after being told to get his players back out on the pitch.

He ordered both sets of players back onto the pitch so that the penalty could be taken.

Before the game began, both sets of fans waved signs reading "against Monday games" and a cocophony of whistles and vuvuzelas provided a constant soundtrack throughout the 90 minutes. "Things are getting stranger".

De Blasis scored a second on 78 minutes to secure victory, taking Mainz above Freiburg on goal difference and eight points clear of automatic relegation, while putting the visitors into the relegation play-off spot in 16th.

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.

Mainz fans protest the Monday night contest by throwing toilet paper onto the field.

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