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Arsenal in UEL final, and here comes Henrikh Mkhitaryan issue: Will Armenian travel to Baku? Full story

Arsenal beat Valencia 2-4 (3-7 on agg.) at Mestalla Stadium to reach Europa League final.

Gunners will player Chelsea/Eintracht in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Arsenal’s Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan could not participate in that match.

August 31, 2018

Azerbaijan have banned Armenians from entering the country over tensions between the bordering rivals.

And when Mkhi was playing for Dortmund in 2015, security concerns led to the German club decided to leave him out of their squad for a Europa League game against Azerbaijani club Gabala.

So Henrikh Mkhitaryan was not be allowed to play against another Azerbaijani club Qarabag when Arsenal face them in group stage.

March 21, 2019

Football London journalist Charles Watts

“If Arsenal reach the final, I have no doubt that Mkhitaryan will travel,” said the journalist.

“Arsenal didn’t push for it on the group stages when they went to Baku of the game against Qarabag. They just decided it wasn’t worth the hassle.

“But they would take a very different stance should they get to the final and UEFA have already said that every player should be allowed to play in one of their competitors. Political issues shouldn’t come into it.”

April 26, 2019

UEFA will help midfielder of London’s Arsenal and the Armenian national football team Henrikh Mkhitaryan obtain a visa to play in the Europa League final in Azerbaijan if the Gunners reach the final stage of the tournament.

Mkhitaryan would have been unavailable for the showpiece event – held in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku – due to ongoing conflicts between the country and his native Armenia. When Arsenal ventured to Azerbaijan for their group stage clash with Qarabag earlier in the campaign Arsenal was left out of the travelling squad.

However, ESPN report that UEFA expect the former Manchester United player to be granted permit due to the exemption for those participating in sporting events. Such an outcome would hand the north Londoners a sizeable boost should they reach the final on 28 May.

A UEFA spokesperson told ESPN FC: “It is a standard procedure for UEFA to send letters of support to associations, clubs or embassies in order to obtain visas for players and allow them to play in UEFA competition matches.”

Every Arsenal player out of contract this summer