May 21, 2019 - 15:10 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be travelling with Arsenal for their Uefa Europa League final against Chelsea in Baku, the club said Tuesday, May 21.
"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 Gunners 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.
"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.
"Micki will continue to be part of our preparations until we depart for Baku at the weekend."
Mkhitaryan is the captain of Armenia’s national team, and Armenia, Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) are involved in long dispute.
Travel to Baku is also proving an issue for those fans who have qualified for a match ticket, with fans heading out from London facing a round trip of some 2,500 miles to attend the game.
Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan earlier described Azerbaijan’s refusal to grant visas to Arsenal’s fans who may have Armenian roots as racism.