Unai Emery doubts Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss Arsenal’s Europa League final. The Armenia midfielder’s place is in doubt over political tensions between his home place and hosts Azerbaijan. Mkhitaryan, 30, played in the 3-1 win at Burnley and his club are trying to confirm his safety for him to be part of the clash in contradiction of Chelsea in few days.
Gunners boss Emery said: “One is a political issue and I don’t know really know the solution. We want to play with him and against Burnley he worked very well. We will do all possible to have every player and him. But I don’t know how this is really a possibility with him and the political issues. It is not in my hands and I don’t understand what is the situation. The problem is with the two countries. We will do all we can but it is not the only issue.”
Emery has added to the criticism of Uefa hosting the final in Baku.
He added: “I would prefer closer to England. Two English team and there would more fans with us.”
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry had indicated last week that Mkhitaryan could play in the final.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Leyla Abdullayeva telling The Associated Press: “many major sports events have been hosted in Azerbaijan, and Armenian athletes have taken part in them. Sports and politics are separate.”
Nagorno-Karabakh is a province of Azerbaijan which has been under the governance of ethnic Armenian forces supported by Armenia since a war there completed in 1994. Some neighboring regions are also under the control of those ethnic Armenian forces. International energies to settle the fight have stuck. Mkhitaryan did not travel with the Arsenal squad for a group-stage game in Azerbaijan earlier this season.
Arsenal has said it is looking for assurances from UEFA that Mkhitaryan can travel. UEFA said Friday that it had received assurances from Azerbaijan’s soccer leading body but didn’t mention a government commitment.
“Assurances were sought on this matter by UEFA and Arsenal FC, with the Azerbaijan Football Association confirming that there would be no problem for the player in question to enter and stay in Azerbaijan and that all necessary security measures would be in place,” UEFA said in emailed comments.
It is the first time Azerbaijan has hosted a main competition final, and it will also hold games at next year’s European Championships. Sports fanatics who want to witness this mega contest can get Europa League Final Tickets through our trusted online ticket market place confidently.