Players forced to return from half-time break as VAR mars Bundesliga clash

File SC Freiburg's Nils Petersen speaks with referee Guido Winkmann after a penalty is awarded to Mainz

The players had already gone off for the interval when the German official Guido Winkmann consulted the video assistant referee (VAR) about a Freiburg handball in the last moments of the first-half.

Mainz tried to assume control of the proceedings on the pitch whereas Freiburg defended well in their own territory.

Pablo De Blasis stepped up to take the spot-kick for Mainz, beating Alexander Schwolow in the seventh minute of stoppage time to open the scoring for his side.

However, it's only used to correct "clear and obvious mistakes" - to allow or disallow goals, award or deny penalties, show or rescind red cards, or correct instances of mistaken identity when a referee disciplines the wrong player.

The game was delayed at the start of both halves, due to protests from both sets of fans at the match being played on a Monday night.

In what is quite possibly the most ridiculous VAR gaffe yet, Mainz and Freiburg players were called back out onto the pitch for a penalty after leaving for half-time.

"But for us who try to attend every game in the stadium it's quite hard to travel on Monday to a match".

Mainz eventually went on to win 2-0 thanks to a another, non-VAR-assisted goal from De Blasis.

Following a delay of over six minutes De Blasis scored the penalty in the bottom left corner and Winkmann blew again for half-time, during which the unfortunate Kempf was substituted. Freiburg fell to 16th, the relegation play-off spot.

"It leaves a bitter taste", Freiburg sporting director Jochen Saier said.

"We thought that when the whistle goes for half-time, that the first 45 minutes are ticked off", Saier told Eurosport.

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