Henrikh Mkhitaryan is an Armenian citizen which means that if he did choose to travel to Baku for the Champions League final vs Chelsea, then there was a chance of some political unrest.
Having said that though, the player had received assurances from almost every governing body that his safety would be taken care of during the trip but still, he has chosen not to make the trip.
And now speaking about the whole incident, Azerbaijan’s UK ambassador Tahir Taghizade has hinted that Henrikh Mkhitaryan might be making a ‘personal political statement’ by not going to Azerbaijan despite multiple assurances regarding his safety.
“Our reaction? The right word would be disappointment,” the ambassador told talkSPORT.
“Obviously that’s his decision – his, his family’s and the club’s – but we are disappointed in it. We did our utmost to assure his safety would be guaranteed and the safety of anybody travelling to Baku, as well as the fans, team crews and other players.
“Do I think he is making a political statement? I am afraid so.
“Honestly, there is a concern here that what Mkhitaryan has done is not connected to his ethnicity or anything he’s doing as a pro footballer, but there is an issue.
“He has visited Nagorno-Karabakh, an occupied portion of Azerbaijan, at least once and that was an unsanctioned visit.
“Those people are usually black-listed in Azerbaijan, which means they are not able to get a visa or travel to Azerbaijan.
“But in this case, Mkhitaryan’s case has been settled and there is no issue whatsoever.
“There is absolutely no problem for Azerbaijan to receive Mkhitaryan and to provide for his physical safety and security. His physical safety is assured by every word I say.
“It’s ultimately his decision, but if we are looking for reasons to justify a decision that maybe longer in the making, that’s something different.”
Obviously, Henrikh Mkhitaryan not travelling for the Europa League final will surely be a boost for Chelsea given that they will have one less player to worry about.