Europa Final: Azerbaijan FA Release Statement on Henrikh Mkhitaryan


The Azerbaijan Football Association has given assurance to Arsenal and UEFA over the safety of Henrikh Mkhitaryan during the Europa League final.

The winger's country, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, the venue for the 2019 UEL final, have an age-long diplomatic rift and as such, natives of any of them are not allowed to cross the opposite direction.

This was reportedly the reason behind the omission of the former Manchester United man from the squad when we traveled to that land to play Qarabag in the group stages last year.

Arsenal qualified for the last stage of the competition after a 7-3 aggregate win over Valencia and then concerns arose.

It was said at that time that Mkhitaryan will have to be cleared to go into Azerbaijan by the concerned authorities which was why the Gunners had to formally make a request to UEFA.

All has now been sorted out as the AFFA General Secretary, Elkhan Mammadov, has said that all paperwork has been completed while giving a guarantee on Mhiki's security.

"Actually this was a part of the process prioritised when Arsenal qualified that has been discussed with UEFA. All the necessary documentation and safety and security from the state has been provided.

'There will not be any problem for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to travel to Baku.'

Mammadov also admitted his astonishment over the manner in which a very simple issue is being made to look mighty by the press.

'To be honest with you I am surprised this case is still ongoing in the press and the public and England because we are taking this as a done subject because we have provided all of the necessary documentation", he added.

'Arsenal representatives have been in Baku they have spoken to us and UEFA about it.

'When they played Qarabag last year, the same guarantees had been implemented that time but the decision of the coach was not bring him because of injury or something.

'We have had Amenian athletes come to Baku for the last decade without issue.

'Sport is aside from politics, it is completely separate. That's why for us Henrik Mkhitaryan has all rights to play in the final.'

Arsenal can now confidently take Mkhitaryan with them to play Chelsea in Baku Azerbaijan on May 29.

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