VAR controversy: Referee defends half-time penalty

18 April, 2018, 05:02 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • We must continue the fight for survival – Mainz 05’s Leon Balogun

Referee Guido Winkmann called both sides back from the dressing room after consulting the video assistant referee (VAR) system and penalised Freiburg for handball.

Mainz initially had the penalty appeal denied before the half-time whistle was blown.

Defeat meant Freiburg dropped behind Mainz into the relegation zone due to an inferior goal-difference, with four games of the season remaining.

It came just before the break when Pablo De Blasis converted from the penalty spot to give the hosts a halftime lead - but that was only half the story.

Freiburg appeared to have gotten off the hook before half-time as defender Marc-Oliver Kempf looked to have handled the ball only for the incident not to be picked up.

It took several more minutes for the message to get to the Freiburg players, who were already back in their dressing room, but they eventually made their way back onto the pitch as well.

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"It leaves a bitter taste", Freiburg sporting director Jochen Saier told Eurosport at half-time.

He added: 'We were under the impression that when the referee blows for half-time that's it'.

The beginning of the second half was then delayed when supporters began throwing toilet rolls onto the pitch.

After a delay of over six minutes, the players were then forced back out on to the pitch to play out the penalty, which was scored by Mainz midfielder Pablo de Blasis, before traipsing back in again.

However, things went from bad to worse as goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow's intercepted pass allowed Robin Quaison to set up for De Blasis, who poked home his second of the night into the open goal in the 79th minute.

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