THE second half of an extroardinary Bundesliga match between Mainz and Freiburg was delayed after Mainz fans threw hundreds of rolls of toilet paper onto the pitch in protest.
Stewards were forced to clear the pitch, which was covered near the goal in toilet paper, after fans protested the scheduling of Monday night games.
And to add to the insult, fans hurled out another round of rolls they’d held back in reserve just after the initial batch was cleared.
The TP turmoil came as Pablo de Blasis scored one of the most remarkable goals in Bundesliga history – during the halftime break – as Mainz beat relegation rival Freiburg 2-0 Daniel Brosinski tried his luck before halftime when his shot took a deflection off Freiburg defender Marc Oliver Kempf’s hand.
Referee Guido Winkmann, who’d allowed play to continue, then blew for halftime and was on his way off the pitch when notified by video referee Bibiana Steinhaus, who was watching in Cologne, that he should check a replay.
Winkmann watched the incident again on the pitch-side screen and evidently decided Kempf deliberately put his hand to the ball.
But Freiburg’s players were already off the pitch and entering their changing room when they had to be called back.
“We’re not going out,” Freiburg coach Christian Streich responded as he led his confused players back into the changing room. Some were looking at TVs to determine exactly what was going on.
The Freiburg team eventually emerged back onto the pitch, where Winkmann explained to a bemused Streich that it was a penalty for the home side.
Protests also delayed the initial kickoff, and the whole game took place to the sound of shrill whistles as supporters made their displeasure known with the German football league.
A mistake from Schwolow in the final minutes allowed De Blasis to seal the home side’s first win since January.
Defeat meant Freiburg took Mainz’s place in the relegation zone due to an inferior goal difference.
Wolfsburg is also under threat with four rounds remaining, while survival looks increasingly unlikely for Hamburger SV and Cologne, eight and nine points adrift of safety, respectively.