Arsenal have announced that it’s midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss the Europa League final playing in Azerbaijan.
The final which will be between two English sides, Chelsea and Arsenal, will see Mkhitaryan miss out due to conflict between his country Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorny Karabakh since Armenian separatists seized the territory in a war that claimed about 30,000 lives in the early 1990s.
Announcing his exclusion from next Wednesday game, Arsenal wrote:
“We are very disappointed to announce that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be travelling with the squad for our UEFA Europa League final against Chelsea,” an Arsenal statement announced on Tuesday.
“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.”
“We have written to UEFA expressing our deep concerns about this situation,” the Arsenal statement added.
“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 has been a key player in our run to the final so this is a big loss for us from a team perspective.”
Despite assurance from the Azerbaijan ambassador to the UK, Tahir Taghizadeh, concerning Mkhitaryan’s safety, it was reported the star didn’t believe he would be safe on the pitch.
“Having considered all the current options, we had to take the tough decision for me not to travel with the squad to the UEL Final against Chelsea,” Mkhitaryan tweeted.
“It’s the kind of game that doesn’t come along very often for us players and I must admit, it hurts me a lot to miss it. I will be cheering my teammates on! Let’s bring it home.”