Mainz and Freiburg players called back to pitch after VAR-awarded penalty

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

The players had gone to the changing room for the interval with the score at 0-0 – only for the video assistant referee (VAR) to award Mainz a penalty for handball.

Referee Guido Winkmann, who had also been on his way to the tunnel, ordered the players to come back so that Mainz’s Pablo De Blasis could take the spot-kick, which he duly converted.

Freiburg coach Christian Streich, who was recently sent off for dissent in a league match, was pictured on the sideline smiling and shaking his head in disbelief after being told to bring his players back out.

The VAR system has been used in the Bundesliga this season. It has also been utilised in selected cup ties in England. The Premier League has voted against introducing VAR for the 2018/19 season.