April 16, 2018 / 8:04 PM / in 4 months

Soccer-VAR awards penalty after players leave the pitch at halftime

BERLIN, April 16 (Reuters) - The players of Mainz 05 and Freiburg were ordered back onto the pitch having gone to the changing room at halftime because the video assistant referee (VAR) awarded a penalty for a handball in their Bundesliga game on Monday.

Referee Guido Winkmann, who was also on his way to the tunnel, ordered the players to return so that Mainz’s Pablo De Blasis could take a penalty for a handball that the VAR noticed after the halftime whistle had blown.

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

The VAR system has been used in the Bundesliga this season but not without controversy as it has been at the centre of several disputed decisions. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann Editing by Toby Davis)

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