Henrikh Mkhitaryan To Miss Europa League Final Against Chelsea Over Safety Fears

The Armenia international’s safety was a concern due to the dispute between his country and Azerbaijan, the host nation of the final tournament clash.

Premiership club, Arsenal have announced Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 30, will not be involved in the Europa League final against Chelsea.

The Armenia international’s safety was a concern due to the dispute between his country and Azerbaijan, the host nation of the final tournament clash.

For this reason,the Gunners 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 player also admitted he is “hurt” to miss the final. 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.”

Written by Jacob Akpene

Jacob Akpene is the Editor-in-chief of the Lasgidi Online Brand. He handles the administrative, content creation and the smooth running of the blog.

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