Azerbaijan FA hit at & # 39; unjustified & # 39; Henrikh Mkhitaryan's decision not to play in the Europa League final of Arsenal
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not travel or play in the Europa League final on May 29
- It occurs as a result of the ongoing tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan
- The FA of Azerbaijan insisted that they had offered guarantees regarding his personal safety
The FA of Azerbaijan was hit by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and decided not to play for Arsenal in the Europa League final.
The Armenian midfielder is not traveling to Baku for the match on May 29 due to the continuing political tensions between his country and Azerbaijan and the likely visa problems.
He announced his decision on Tuesday and confirmed that he would not participate after weeks of problems.
The FA of Azerbaijan is beaten by Henrikh Mkhitaryan who decides not to play in the Europa League final
The Armenian midfielder is not traveling to Baku for the May 29 match over political tensions
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM BETWEEN AZERBEIDZJAN AND ARMENIA?
Since 1994, Nagorno-Karabakh exists in a tense no-man's-land.
HOW BIG IS THE AREA?
This mountainous region of Azerbaijan, with approximately 150,000 inhabitants in an area of 12,000 square kilometers, has been under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian army since the end of a true war that killed around 30,000 people and an estimated 1 million people has driven away.
WHEN did it start?
Long simmering tensions between Christian Armenians and especially Muslim Azeris began to boil over while the Soviet Union frayed in recent years. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and the republics became independent nations, war broke out. A ceasefire in 1994 left the Armenian and Azerbaijani forces facing each other in a demilitarized zone, where clashes were often committed.
WHAT HAPPENS SINCE?
International mediation efforts to determine the final status of the region have produced little visible progress. The unresolved conflict was an economic blow for Armenia because Turkey closed its border with Armenia and left the country with open borders only with Georgia and Iran.
But the FA of Azerbaijan insisted that they have all & # 39; guarantees & # 39; had commanded that Mkhitaryan should have been safe before the game against Chelsea.
An AFFA spokesman said: & We are disappointed with Arsenal's statement that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not travel to Baku with his team to participate in the UEFA Europa League final against Chelsea next Wednesday.
& # 39; We deeply regret that this unfounded decision, as we understand it, is taken collectively by Arsenal, the player and his family.
"Although we recognize the right to make a personal decision not to travel, we would like to reiterate that Azerbaijan has given the host country all the necessary guarantees that UEFA needs to ensure the personal safety of Mr. Mkhitaryan.
"There is no reason to question the seriousness of these guarantees by Azerbaijan.
& # 39; In the past decade, a large number of Armenian athletes have participated without difficulty in various international sporting events in Azerbaijan.
& # 39; Finally, we believe that this unfortunate decision in no way affects the quality and appeal of this great competition.
& # 39; We look forward to welcoming both teams to Baku soon. & # 39;
Mkhitaryan admitted his own disappointment: & # 39; After considering all the current options, we had to make the difficult decision not to travel with the team to the Europa League final.
& # 39; It's the kind of game that doesn't often play for our players and I have to admit that it hurts me a lot to miss it. I will encourage my teammates! Let's take it home. & # 39;
The FA of Azerbaijan insisted that they had provided guarantees regarding the personal safety of Mkhitaryan