Pablo De Blasis: Scorer of half-time penalty says VAR 'is not football'

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Is this the most bizarre use of VAR so far?

Video assistant referee (VAR) "is not football", says the Mainz midfielder who scored a penalty during half-time in his side's Bundesliga win over relegation rivals Freiburg on Monday.

Argentine Pablo De Blasis has scored two penalties from VAR this season but said players "lose the emotions".

Referee Guido Winkmann called both sides back from the dressing room after consulting the VAR system and penalising Freiburg for handball.

"I don't like it," said De Blasis, 30.

"I like the old football, with more emotions, without the referee on the video stopping the emotions."

Mainz initially had the penalty appeal turned down after right-back Daniel Brosinski's cross deflected off Freiburg centre-back Marc-Oliver Kempf's hand and was saved by keeper Alexander Schwolow.

Pablo De Blasis scores a penalty
De Blasis scores from the spot to put Mainz ahead

As the players departed the pitch, Winkmann was told to consult VAR and ran over to the other side of the pitch to watch the replay on a monitor.

Winkmann overturned the decision and awarded the hosts a penalty before having to recall the entire Freiburg side and the handful of Mainz players who had left the pitch.

"[The Freiburg players] were angry. They didn't understand why the referee decided after some minutes to check the video and they probably didn't want to come back out but the rules are the rules," said De Blasis.

"The really strange thing was that the referee told me that when I shoot the half is finished. I didn't have rebounds. Just one chance for me."

The second half was then delayed by fans throwing toilet paper onto the pitch, which was not related to the penalty decision but instead a protest against Bundesliga fixtures being played on Monday nights.

De Blasis scored a second goal on 78 minutes to secure victory for Mainz and move the club above Freiburg on goal difference -both sides now sit eight points clear of automatic relegation.

Security staff clear toilet roll from the pitch before the second half of Mainz against Freiburg
The second half was delayed by fans throwing toilet roll on the pitch as a protest against Monday night games

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