VAR calls players back from dressing room for penalty

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There were freaky scenes in the Bundesliga on Monday as Mainz and Freiburg players returned to the pitch so a penalty could be taken before half-time.

Winkmann then blew for the break, allowing the players to go in for half-time - only for the VAR official to give the handball and award a penalty.

But Freiburg's players were already off the pitch and entering their changing room when they had to be called back. Some were looking at TVs to determine exactly what was going on.

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The video assistant referee (VAR) system came under fresh scrutiny last night when a team had to be summoned back from the dressing room at half-time to face a penalty.

De Blasis later doubled the home side's lead in the 79th minute and the game finshed 2-0.

"It leaves a bitter taste, but we have to accept it with a heavy heart", Freiburg sporting director Jochen Saier told Eurosport at half-time. "Things are getting stranger".

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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.

It was not related to the penalty decision but instead a protest against Bundesliga fixtures being played on Monday nights.

Defeat meant Freiburg took Mainz's place in the relegation zone due to an inferior goal difference.

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