Mainz fans protest against fixture scheduling

Mainz’s controversial victory over fellow strugglers Freiburg was the latest game to feature protests from fans over the scheduling of Monday night games in the Bundesliga.

Spectators showed their displeasure by throwing toilet rolls onto the pitch during an incident-packed game at the Opel Arena, which the hosts won 2-0.

It followed a similar protest from fans during Eintracht Frankfurt’s clash with RB Leipzig back in February.

Christoph Kessel, 45, who has followed Mainz for more than 35 years, claims it is a struggle for fans to attend games at the start of the working week.

“I fully agree with the protest because in Germany we still have a great fan culture with large standing areas, choreographies and away fans,” he told the Press Association. “However, the fans who attend the games in the stadium don’t count.

“They are useful for the broadcasting companies if they support with colourful creative choreographies and songs.

“But for us who try to attend every game in the stadium it’s quite difficult to travel on Monday to a match. The young crowd is still at school or university, so it’s almost impossible to go to the game.”

During the game, Mainz benefited from a bizarre penalty decision.

Freiburg’s players had already disappeared down the tunnel for half-time when referee Guido Winkmann referred a potential penalty to the video assistant referee.

Following a delay of around five minutes, Winkmann recalled the visiting players to give the spot-kick after ruling that Daniel Brosinski’s cross had been handled by Marc-Oliver Kempf.

Pablo de Blasis duly converted from 12 yards to give Mainz the lead, and he clinched victory for the hosts with his second of the night in the 78th minute.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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