UEFA have confirmed that four VAR officials will be appointed to the 2018/19 Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea, the first time video technology has been used in the competition.
It was announced back in December that VAR would be utilised in the Europa League final this season, but now we have the confirmation of just how many officials will be in use, and who those officials are.
UEFA have announced on their website that there will be a Video Assistant Referee (Massimiliano Irrati, Italy), two VAR Assistants (Marco Guida, Italy and Szymon Marciniak, Poland) and an Offside VAR (Pawel Sokolnicki, Poland).
Having one person checking the offsides seems like a good decision. It’s often hard to keep track of them alongside other incidents like fouls, handballs and the rest, but they’re often the decisions with the most objective outcomes. Either you’re offside or you aren’t, so having one person dedicated to getting that right is ideal.
Given VAR will be in use throughout the Champions League and Europa League next season, and it’s also been brought into the Premier League and cup competitions, we may already have seen our last competitive game involving Arsenal without VAR.
Hopefully, the two Italian officials don’t have any hard feelings about the Gunners eliminating the best Europa League team from their country!