Players summoned from changing room for halftime penalty

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English football has had its fair share of problems and controversies with the infamous VAR system this season, but nothing comes close to the extraordinary scenes that occurred over in Germany in the Bundesliga clash between Mainz and Freiburg on Monday night. After reviewing the incident he then decided that Freiburg had handled the ball in the area at the end of the first-half, meaning Mainz now had a penalty seven minutes into the interval!

Referee Guido Winkmann initially allowed the game to play on, denying Mainz a penalty, before blowing for halftime shortly thereafter.

But Freiburg's players were already off the pitch and entering their changing room when they had to be called back.

He ordered both sets of players back onto the pitch so that the penalty could be taken.

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Pablo De Blasis kept his cool from 12 yards to give Mainz the lead. "Things are getting stranger".

Supporters also forced the game to be paused by throwing rolls of toilet paper on to the pitch as a protest against the Bundesliga's introduction of matches on Monday nights. After the stewards cleared the paper strands, they threw another round they held back in reserve to delay the second half even further.

De Blasis scored a second on 78 minutes to secure victory, taking Mainz above Freiburg on goal difference and eight points clear of automatic relegation, while putting the visitors into the relegation play-off spot in 16th.

Mainz and Freiburg are 15th and 16th in the table respectively so the decision carried added weight in a relegation six-pointer. Protests have taken place during most Monday games.

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