Borussia Dortmund (BVB; Germany) CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke stated that Armenia national football squad and Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan probably will not go to Azerbaijan to play in the German club’s Europa League group stage away match against Gabala FK (Azerbaijan).
The game is slated for Thursday in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan.
“In all likelihood, Mkhitaryan will not head for the match against Gabala,” Bild daily of Germany quoted Watzke saying. “We have studied the situation. There is a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, whereas we we need to care for our players.
“There are difficulties in ensuring safety. If a player doesn’t feel comfortable and has a sense of fear, we certainly will take these circumstances into account.”
In December 2011, Mkhitaryan had visited Nagorno-Karabakh—which Azerbaijan considers its “occupied territory”—, and presented gifts to several Karabakh War veterans.
So, the Azerbaijani media assumed that the Armenia international cannot be issued an Azerbaijani visa because he is considered a person who has illegally crossed the border of this country, and if he comes to Baku, he may be arrested.
But spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Hikmet Hajiyev, had announced that Azerbaijan will not obstruct the Armenia international’s participation in the match against Gabala.