Arsenal seek UEFA guarantee on Mkhitaryan safety for Baku final

Arsenal have expressed concern that they have not yet received “acceptable guarantees” from Uefa that their midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be safe to travel to Baku for the Europa League final.

When Arsenal played in Azerbaijan in their opening group game the Armenian midfielder was omitted because of the conflict between the two countries over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

There are no diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia and Arsenal are disappointed that they might be prevented from taking one of their players to a major European final.

“The safety and security of our players is of paramount importance,” said an Arsenal spokesperson.

“We are seeking guarantees from UEFA that it will be safe for Henrikh Mikhitaryan to travel to Baku for the Europa League final, which both Arsenal and Micki require for him to be included within our squad.

“Acceptable guarantees have not been received yet, and we hope that Uefa will be able to supply these promptly. We are of course hugely concerned that the location of the final could lead to Micki not being able to play in a European final.”

Mkhitaryan came on for Mesut Özil as a substitute in Arsenal’s semi final in Valencia and, with Aaron Ramsey unfit, Unai Emery would be keen to include him in the squad for the final against Chelsea on 29 May.

When Mkhitaryan did not travel to the Qarabag gamee this season the decision was mutual between player and club. There is a big difference, though, between sitting out the first group game and the final.

Uefa’s standard procedure is to send letters of support to associations, clubs, or embassies to facilitate visas for foreign travel if needed.


Share Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By Same Author