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Sunderland could encounter VAR for the first time as EFL considers using it in the play-off final

By James Hunter

Sunderland could encounter VAR for the first time next weekend, with the EFL considering using the technology in the League One play-off final at Wembley. VAR - the video assistant referee - was introduced in the Premier League in 2019, and has also been used in some FA Cup games and showpiece finals, but grounds below top flight level have not been equipped with the technology,

There was no VAR in operation for Sunderland's Carabao Cup quarter-final against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in December, meaning the Black Cats have yet to be involved in a fixture where the system is employed. That could change a week on Saturday when they face Wycombe Wanderers in the play-off final, however.

The EFL confirmed in a series of tweets that VAR would be used in the Championship play-off final on May 29, and said that 'discussions remain ongoing' over whether to use the technology in the League One and League Two play-off finals on May 21 and May 28 respectively.

READ MORE: Gareth Ainsworth beats Alex Neil to Manager of the Month award ahead of play-off clash

The EFL tweets said: 'The EFL confirms that VAR will be used for the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 29 May (KO 4:30pm). Discussions remain ongoing regarding VAR being used in the Sky Bet League One (Saturday 21 May – KO 3pm) and League Two (Saturday 28 May – KO 4pm) Play-Off Finals.'

It is not clear what the potential objections to employing the technology are, given that Wembley has the system available and that it will be used for the Championship game. Goalline technology will be used in all three play-off finals.

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