Henrikh Mkhitaryan to miss Arsenal’s trip to Qarabağ for ‘security reasons’ because Azerbaijan banned Armenians from entering the country due to the ongoing disputes between the two countries.
Many people were killed during the Nagorno-Karabkh clashes in 2013 which apparently is still causing high tension between the two countries.
Azerbaijan, as a result of the clash banned all Armenians from the countries and likewise no Armenians want to visit Azerbaijan either.
According to ESPN Journalist Mattias Karén, Borussia Dortmund opted to leave Mkhitaryan out of their squad for a Europa League game against Azerbaijani club Gabala in 2015, with a similar decision likely to happen again with the Arsenal.
We thought UEFA rules on football is non political, we thought football and politics are two different things but i guess we might be wrong.
Apparently, Azerbaijan will be hosting the Europa UEFA finals next year which could be scary for a host of Armenians players in various clubs in Europe if their clubs made it to the final, most importantly, Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan who will miss the final if Unai Emery team gets there.
Lots of users on social media are baffled as to how UEFA allow a country like Azerbaijan with their Xenophobic and Myopic nature to host such a multicultural football event of that magnitude. The country clearly couldn’t separate sports from politics which should be against UEFA rules.
25 Armenian athletes were allowed to compete at the 2015 European games in Azerbaijan’s capital of Baku. But it was a disaster for the 25 athletes, they were threatened in many ways, bullied, intimidated and booed throughout the competition.
Europa UEFA final 2019 will be hosted in the same city, BAKU next year. The environment could be very hostile for certain players based on their countries of birth.
Lets hope UEFA puts adequate measures in place before the time.