VAR came to the forefront of proceedings in the in Monday evening’s clash between Mainz and Freiburg, as the referee awarded a penalty after the half time whistle.
With the scores level at 0-0 in stoppage time, Mainz appealed for a penalty when the ball appeared to strike a Freburg player on the hand to prevent a cross from reaching its intended target.
Referee Guido Winkmann ignored the appeals, blew for half time and made his way towards the tunnel along with both sets of players. Things soon took a turn for the bizarre, however, when the official communicated with the VAR and came to the conclusion that perhaps it should have been a penalty.
He ordered both sets of players back onto the pitch so that the penalty could be taken. Mainz forward Pablo De Blasis duly converted, and the home side went back into the tunnel one goal to the good.
Now this is special, even for VAR. Half-time whistle goes in Mainz v Freiburg, players go off, then pen to Mainz given for handball on last action of half. Players called back out, De Blasis scores, players go off again.
— Andy Brassell (@andybrassell) April 16, 2018
Another comedy – version of VAR:
Bundesliga- Game Mainz vs Freiburg.
Controversial penalty-situation just before halftime. Not given. Halftime: Teams in the dressing- room. Then Ladies and Gentleman: The referee order the teams out again to take a penalty.
— Jan Aage Fjortoft (@JanAageFjortoft) April 16, 2018
De Blasis added a second with ten minutes remaining, but there is likely to be significant fallout from this match (and that decision in particular) in the coming days. The 2-0 win sees Mainz leapfrog Freiburg in the Bundesliga table on goal difference, climbing out of the relegation zone at the expense of their defeated opponents.