Henrikh Mkhitaryan OUT of Arsenal’s Europa League final with Chelsea

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Arsenal have confirmed Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not play in the Europa League final with Chelsea over visa issues.

Unai Emery’s men face Chelsea in the final of the competition in Azerbaijan capital Baku on May 29.

UEFA have failed to give the necessary assurances over the safety of the ex-Manchester United man, amid ongoing political tensions between host nation Azerbaijan and the player’s home country, Armenia.

Mkhitaryan has played more minutes in the competition than any other Arsenal outfield player but he will not travel with his teammates.

An Arsenal 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.

Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan in action

 

“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.

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“Micki will continue to be part of our preparations until we depart for Baku at the weekend.”

The Armenian will not travel to Baku

 

It has also emerged that British-Armenian supporters have also been denied visas for the final.

Arsenal and Chelsea have both been critical of UEFA’s decision to host the final of the competition in Baku.

Both clubs have been handed ticket allocations of just 6,000 – despite the final taking place in the 69,000-capacity Olympic Stadium.

Azerbaijani officials have claimed the city cannot cope with a huge influx of supporters, hence their decision to offer the decreased allocation.

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