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Arsenal vs Chelsea Europa League final to be the first match in competition’s history to use VAR

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Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery will contest the Europa League final (Picture: Getty Images)

This year’s Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea will be the first match in the competition’s history to use Video Assistant Referees (VAR).

It was announced in December that the tournament was going to see VAR used in the final, despite not being used throughout the knockout stages.

UEFA have announced the officials for the final in Baku and the list includes a Video Assistant Referee, two VAR assistants and an offside VAR.

VAR has been used throughout the Champions League this season, most memorably chalking off a Manchester City goal which would have seen them knock Tottenham out in the quarter-finals.

Gianluca Rocchi will referee the Europa League final (Picture: Getty Images)

Italian ref Gianluca Rocchi has been confirmed as the man in the middle for the London derby in Azerbaijan, having reffed notable Champions League games this season.

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Rocchi was in charge as Liverpool hosted Bayern Munich in the last 16 and as Manchester United took on Barcelona at Anfield in the quarter-finals.

However, it is the first time the 45-year-old has taken charge of a Europa League final.

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Unusually, despite using VAR in the final, UEFA are not rolling it out across the competition next season, but will implement the technology at all stages in the 2020/21 campaign.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said earlier this season: ‘We are ready to use VAR earlier than initially planned and we are convinced that it will be beneficial for our competitions as it will provide valuable help to match officials and will allow us to reduce incorrect decisions.’

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