Former manager of Armenia national squad Vardan Minasyan believes that Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan does not have to travel to Baku for Arsenal vs. Chelsea Europa League final.
“I think he should not go if there is a security problem. Other problems can be solved, but is person’s safety is at stake, football is out of the question,” press service of Ararat Armenia FC quotes Minasyan.
Armenia national squad captain and Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s participation in the Europa League final is still uncertain.
As reported earlier, however, Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Leyla Abdullayeva had assured that Mkhitaryan can play in this match in Baku.
“Many major sports events have been hosted in Azerbaijan, and Armenian athletes have taken part in them,” Abdullayeva had said. “Sports and politics are separate.”
UEFA also had informed that the Armenia international faces no safety concerns in the Europa League final in Azerbaijan. The organization had informed that it had asked for guarantees that Mkhitaryan will have no problems, and that the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan had confirmed that he will have no problems with respect to entry to the country and accommodation in capital city Baku, and that all necessary measures would be taken to ensure his safety.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is on the Azerbaijani border guards’ “blacklist” because of visiting Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) numerous times.