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BC-SOC--Arsenal-Mkhitaryan

May 21, 2019
Arsenal says Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be staying at home when the team plays Chelsea in the Europa League final because of concerns about political tension between his native Armenia and Azerbaijan. The match is scheduled for May 29 in Baku. Arsenal says it has explored all the options for the midfielder to be part of the squad but has agreed after discussions with the player that he won’t be in the travelling party. The Azerbaijan government previously said it would allow Mkhitaryan to play.

LONDON (AP) — Arsenal says Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be staying at home when the team plays Chelsea in the Europa League final because of concerns about political tension between his native Armenia and Azerbaijan, which is hosting the game.

Arsenal says “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.”

The club adds that “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.”

The Azerbaijan government previously said it would allow Mkhitaryan to play in the final on May 29.

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