LONDON — Armenian forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s availability for Arsenal’s Europa League group stage clash against Azerbaijan’s FK Qarabag, as well as Europa League final is in doubt, due to tensions between his homeland of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Gunners have been drawn with Sporting Lisbon, Ukrainian side Vorskla and Azeri champions Qarabag in Group E.

The Armenian will be hit by visa problems if he tried to enter Azerbaijan, where the Baku-based club play.

And as the Europa League final is also in the Azerbaijan capital, the 29-year-old could even miss the showpiece event, should the Gunners get there.

There are currently no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, primarily because of the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and as a policy Azerbaijan denies issuing entry visas to Armenian nationals or even people with Armenian surnames.

In relation to the situation surrounding Mkhitaryan, UEFA said in a statement: “It is a standard procedure for UEFA to send letters of support to associations, clubs or embassies in order to obtain visas for players in order to be able to travel to another country and play in UEFA competition matches.”

This is not the first time that Mkhitaryan has found himself in this situation, with the forward left out of Borussia Dortmund’s squad to play Azerbaijani club Gabala in 2015.

Dortmund were informed by the Azerbaijan foreign embassy that Mkhitaryan would receive “a visa directly upon their arrival at Baku airport,” but Dortmund elected to exclude him from the trip because of security concerns.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Get notified of the latest updates from MassisPost.

You May Also Like

What Happened to Turkey’s Islamized Armenians?

By Orhan Kemal Cengiz Back in 2005, a bid to hold Turkey’s…

Over 30 Members of Congress Urge White House to Release the Armenian Orphan Rug for Public Display

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, over 30 Members of Congress signed a…

Dr. Zaven Messerlian’s 4 Volumes of Modern Armenian History

Reviewed by Harut Der-Tavitian The fate of small nations is indispensably tied…

Pope Francis to Celebrate Mass on Sunday to Mark Armenian Genocide 100th Anniversary

VATICAN CITY — On April 12th, Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass in…