Mainz vs Freiburg.

VAR awards 'half-time' penalty during Mainz vs Freiburg in latest controversy

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Video assistant referee (VAR) will not be used in the Premier League next season - and perhaps that's a good thing judging by what happened in the Bundesliga on Monday night.

During Mainz 05's 2-0 win over Freiburg at the Opel Arena, the much-maligned VAR gave a penalty AFTER the referee had blown his whistle for half-time. No, seriously.

Let's paint the picture. In the 45th minute with mere seconds remaining of the first half, the ball appeared to strike Freiburg's Oliver Kempf on the arm inside the box.

Nothing was given by referee Guido Winkmann, who moments later blew his whistle and signalled the players to their respective dressing rooms.

But then, drama. Winkmann was told by the video referee based in Cologne, Bibiana Steinhaus, that he should watch a replay of the handball incident.

Winkmann then walked to the pitchside screen and eventually decided it should have been a penalty, so he blew his whistle again and ordered the players back onto the pitch.

No one knew what was happening, with BT Sport's commentator even saying: "I'm sure that is historic. I've never seen anything like it."

Once the players were back on the pitch, Mainz's Pablo de Blasis tee'd up his penalty, fired straight down the middle and celebrated as normal. Everyone then returned to the tunnel for half-time.

The scenes were truly bizarre and it's no exaggeration that you must watch the footage to really get a feel for how weird it was. Check out the video(s) below.

Incredible. Freiburg's sporting director, Jochen Saier, just about summed up the confusion VAR caused by saying "things are getting stranger".

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

"That wasn't the case in this scene, we have to accept that with heavy hearts. Things are getting stranger."


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