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

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

Referee Guido Winkmann, who'd allowed play to continue, then blew for halftime and was on his way off the pitch when notified by video referee Bibiana Steinhaus, who was watching in Cologne, that he should check a replay.

Referee Guido Winkmann, who was also on his way to the tunnel, ordered the players to return so that Mainz's Pablo De Blasis could take a penalty for a handball that the VAR noticed after the halftime whistle had blown.

A penalty was awarded after players had already left the pitch for half-time in Mainz's Bundesliga win over relegation rivals Freiburg on Monday.

There was a further 10-minute delay before the start of the second half as fans threw hundreds of toilet rolls onto the pitch in a protest against Monday evening matches. Things soon took a turn for the weird, however, when the official communicated with the VAR and came to the conclusion that perhaps it should have been a penalty.

Mainz moved above free-falling Freiburg in the table and up to 15th, ending their own six-game winless run in the process.

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Winkmann watched the incident again on the pitchside screen and evidently decided Freiburg's Marc Oliver Kempf had deliberately put his hand to the ball.

Mainz remained the stronger team in the second half, and De Blasis wrapped up victory 11 minutes from time after an embarrassing error from Alexander Schwolow.

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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