Armenia captain Mkhitaryan will miss the UEFA Europa League final after Arsenal concluded it wouldn’t be in the best interests of the rest of the squad to have him on the trip.
UEFA had assured that Mkhitaryan will be safe during his stay in neighboring Azerbaijan despite the political tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
According to a statement released on Arsenal’s official website which reads: “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 traveling 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.”
Mkhitaryan also took to his Instagram to explain why he had decided not to take part in the game.
“Having considered all the current options, we had to take the tough decision for me not to travel with the squad to the Europa League final.”
“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.”