DORTMUND — Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan is likely to miss Borussia Dortmund’s upcoming UEFA Europa League match against Azerbaijan’s Qabala team for security reasons.
Dortmund’s executive director Hans-Joachim Watzke told Bild that Mkhitaryan is likely to skip the game scheduled for October 22. “The risk for the Armenians in Azerbaijan is too large, we have a personal duty to care for our players.” Watzke stated.
Mkhitaryan’s participation in the Qabala v Borussia Dortmund game had been under doubt since the draw in August putting the two teams in the same group.
Azerbaijani media had reported that, Borussia Dortmund’s #10 may be denied a visa because of his visit to Nagorno Karabakh in 2011. Moreover Mkhitaryan could be arrested if he arrives in Baku to play against Qabala.
Baku has blacklisted hundreds of politicians, actors, public figures and journalists over their visit to Artsakh.
Azerbaijani authorities later implied in an ambiguous statement that they would not do that and that Mkhitaryan could count on an entry visa. But still it remained unclear whether the Armenian player’s security would be guaranteed in the Azerbaijani capital.