• If your user name appeared to be a real first and last name (fictitious or not), your user name has been changed to just your first name. As of May 1, 2018 no full real names are allowed as user names.

Arsenal Face Prospect Of Leaving Armenian Player At Home For Europa League Final In Azerbaijan

Webster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
14,094
Location
North Carolina
The Guardian: Arsenal face prospect of having to leave Mkhitaryan at home for Baku final


Arsenal are preparing for the prospect of leaving their Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan at home for the Europa League final in Baku on 29 May. There is significant anger within the camp that one of their players feels effectively forced to miss such a major match over safety issues.

Assurances over Mkhitaryan’s security were sought with Uefa last week, because of the ongoing political tensions between Azerbaijan and neighbouring Armenia, and talks are ongoing. Arsenal’s decision will be confirmed by early next week at the latest, but they are not optimistic about a positive resolution.

Both club and player are deeply disappointed. Although Mkhitaryan has not been a starter in Arsenal’s recent matches in the Europa League, over the course of the campaign he has played in 11 of the 14 games, and not one of his midfield team-mates have been on the pitch in the competition for more minutes than he has. Mkhitaryan has previously scored in a Europa League final for Manchester United, two years ago in Stockholm.

It is not considered realistic for Arsenal to pull out of the competition in protest, with so much at stake in terms of a trophy and qualification for the Champions League that is predicted to be worth approximately £60m in terms of their potential transfer budget. The more important point is that a club should not be in a position where they feel obliged to ponder pulling out of a final, and a player under Uefa’s jurisdiction should not feel pushed to miss one of its showpiece finals because of his nationality.

Mkhitaryan’s team-mates are upset they might have to travel without him. The rest of the squad, including injured players like Aaron Ramsey, Héctor Bellerín, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck, are all welcomed into the party to play the final against Chelsea.
-Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/may/16/arsenal-face-prospect-leaving-henrikh-mkhitaryan-home-europa-league-final-baku
 

Webster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
14,094
Location
North Carolina
@Webster: Are there teams from Armenia in the competition?
No, but Mkhitaryan - the player in question - is from Armenia and there are legit fears that Azeris may try to attack him on the pitch on elsewhere should he come with Arsenal to the EL final in Baku. It ain't the first time either; during the EL group stage round, Arsenal left him at home during their return leg w/Qarabag rather than risk anything with him.
 

Webster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
14,094
Location
North Carolina
...well, we now know what Mkhitaryan won't be doing next week....

The Guardian: Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan to miss Europa League final over safety fears


Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be involved in the Europa League final after Arsenal confirmed he would not travel with the squad. The Armenia international’s safety was a concern due to the dispute between his country and host nation Azerbaijan.

Therefore the Gunners have decided against him travelling to Baku for next Wednesday’s game with Chelsea.

A statement read: “We are very disappointed to announce that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be travelling with the squad for our Uefa Europa League final against Chelsea.

“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. 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.”

The former Manchester United man admitted he is “hurt” to miss the showpiece event. He tweeted: “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.

“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 Arsenal.”

Uefa said in a statement: “Working alongside Arsenal FC, Uefa sought and received assurances regarding the player’s safety in Azerbaijan from the highest authorities in the country.

“As a result of these guarantees, a comprehensive security plan was developed and given to the club. While the club acknowledges the efforts that Uefa and the Azeri government have gone to in this matter, we respect the personal decision not to travel with the player.”
 
Top Bottom