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VAR controversy: Referee defends half-time penalty

17 April 2018

VAR confusion reigned in the Bundesliga on Monday evening as Mainz and Freiburg players had to be recalled from the half-time break after a penalty was belatedly awarded.

Following a nervy first half Mainz took the lead in curious circumstances when they were given a penalty by Video Assistant Referee system VAR after the referee had already blown for half-time. After looking at replays of a cross from Mainz's Daniel Brosinski striking Freiburg defender Marc Oliver Kempf on the hand, Winkmann awarded the spot-kick and the players were "hauled back to the pitch".

The result moved the home side level on 30 points with Freiburg as the two sides (along with Wolfsburg, who are also on 30 points) continue in their quest to avoid ending up the Bundesliga's relegation play-off place.

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Mainz went on to win the crucial relegation clash 2-0.

The game itself may have been otherwise unremarkable, but that didn't stop the fans from creating a spectacle of their own as they continued to display their displeasure with Monday night games.

It's been a mess so far with incorrect decisions even after VAR consultation and delays of play lasting up to ten minutes.

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Indeed, the goal proved to be a major turning point and Mainz put the seal on a crucial victory in the 79th minute when De Blasis capitalised on a terrible goalkeeping error to slot home.

This is the latest VAR-related controversy in a long line of decisions involving the technology. Saier added: "We were under the impression that when the referee blows for half-time that's it".

With concerns remaining, the Premier League have opted not to adopt the technology for next season, however it will be used at this summer's World Cup in Russian Federation.

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VAR controversy: Referee defends half-time penalty