Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be travelling with the squad for Arsenal’s UEFA Europa League final against Chelsea, the club said in an official statement.
“We have thoroughly explored all the options for Micki to be part of the squad but after discussing this with Micki and his family we have collectively agreed he will not be in our travelling party,” the club said.
“We have written to Uefa expressing our deep concerns about this situation. Micki has been a key player in our run to the final so this is a big loss for us from a team perspective,” Arsenal said.
“We’re also very sad that a player will miss out on a major European final in circumstances such as this, as it is something that comes along very rarely in a footballer’s career,” the statement continues.
“Micki will continue to be part of our preparations until we depart for Baku at the weekend,” Arsenal said.
The Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said earlier it would not not mind the player’s trip to Baku if security guarantees were provided.
“It would be good for Azerbaijan to remain committed to its earlier statement that sport is above politics,” Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anna Naghdalyan told a briefing today.
Furthermore, Naghdalyan added, “racism and xenophobia have no place in sports.” Therefore, she said, the failure by Azerbaijani to provide security guarantees or the ban of Armenian fans from the country is nothing but a “new expression of such racism.”
Ermenistan Kamu Radyosu