Sports: Arsenal ready to leave Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan at home when they travel to Azerbaijan for Europa League final against Chelsea

Daily Mail, UK
  • Arsenal resigned to Mkhitaryan being unable to play in the Europa League final 
  • The Armenian has missed trips to Azerbaijan in the past due to political tensions
  • Assurances over the security of the midfielder were sought with UEFA last week

Arsenal are resigned to Henrikh Mkhitaryan being unable to play in the Europa League final.

The Gunners continued their preparations on Thursday for the clash with London rivals Chelsea in Azerbaijan on May 29.

But they face the prospect of leaving the Armenian midfielder at home when they travel to Baku for the final, according to the Guardian.

Mkhitaryan would be required to apply to the Azerbaijani government for a permit to make the trip to Baku.

The two countries have had no diplomatic relations since the Nagorno-Karabakh War, which ended in 1994.

Assurances over Mkhitaryan’s security were sought with UEFA last week, because of the ongoing political tensions.

Arsenal are expected to make a decision early next week, but they are not optimistic about the 30-year-old being able to make the trip. 

The midfielder missed the trip to face Qarabag in Baku earlier this season because of fears for his safety amid ongoing political tension between his native Armenia and host nation Azerbaijan.

In 2015, Mkhitaryan did not travel to Azerbaijan to face Gabala while with Borussia Dortmund despite being told by UEFA that he would get a visa.

There would be considerable safety risks if Mkhitaryan were to go to Baku given his standing as one of the Armenia's most high-profile figures and the historical bad blood between the two nations. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7038151/Arsenal-ready-leave-Mkhitaryan-home-travel-Baku-Europa-League-final.html

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