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Europa League

Chelsea will take on Arsenal in the Europa League final later this month at the Baku Olympic Stadium at Azerbaijan.

And already there have been major complications regarding the high-profile clash.

The first major issue popped up when UEFA chose to allocate only 6000 tickets each to both the finalists which many people think is unfair to the travelling fans who wish to see their club play at such a grand stage.

The other issue is that both sets of fans will have to travel a pretty long distance in order to watch the finals since Baku is close to 2800 miles away from London – where both the clubs are based.

And amongst all this, some people had been urging UEFA to introduce VAR for the Europa League final so that to omit any sort of foul play.

We have already seen the kind of positive impact that the VAR has had in the Champions League this season and everyone wants the same kind of transparency at Baku.

And it looks like UEFA have finally heard all requests as the governing body of football in Europe have confirmed that VAR will be used in the Europa League final.

UEFA released a statement earlier this week saying:

“The UEFA Referees Committee has announced today that Gianluca Rocchi will referee the 2019 UEFA Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal at the Baku Olympic Stadium on Wednesday 29 May (kick-off at 23.00 local time/21.00CET).

“Rocchi has been an international referee since 2008. This season, the 45-year-old Italian has officiated at six UEFA Champions League matches.

“This will be the first UEFA Europa League final that Rocchi has overseen, after handling the fourth referee duties in the 2010 encounter between Atlético Madrid and Fulham, as well as the 2017 UEFA Europa League final between Ajax and Manchester United.

“The same year, he was in charge of the UEFA Super Cup match between Manchester United and Real Madrid.

“He will be assisted by compatriots Filippo Meli and Lorenzo Manganelli at the final in Baku, with Daniele Orsato taking the role of fourth official. The video assistant referee team will be led by Massimiliano Irrati, supported by Marco Guida, Szymon Marciniak, and Pawel Sokolnicki.”

Here’s the 2018-19 Europa League final refereeing team:[as released by UEFA]

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Filippo Meli, Lorenzo Manganelli (Italy)
Fourth official: Daniele Orsato (Italy)
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Massimiliano Irrati (Italy)
VAR Assistants: Marco Guida (Italy), Szymon Marciniak (Poland)
Offside VAR: Paweł Sokolnicki (Poland)

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