LONDON (AP) — Arsenal says Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be staying at home when the team plays Chelsea in the Europa League final because of concerns about political tension between his native Armenia and Azerbaijan, which is hosting the game.
Arsenal says “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.”
The club adds that “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.”
The Azerbaijan government previously said it would allow Mkhitaryan to play in the final on May 29.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports