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ARSENAL, CHELSEA COULD BOYCOTT BAKU FINAL DUE TO MKHIRTAYAN’S UEFA OUTCAST

Arsenal managing director Vinai Venkatesham blasted UEFA after it was decided Henrikh Mkhitaryan would not play in the Europa League final due to security concerns.

The 30-year-old will not travel with the squad to Baku due to the tensions between Azerbaijan and and his native Armenia.

Speaking of the situation, Venkatesham said: “I struggle to find the words about how strongly I feel. We have a situation that is completely unacceptable. It is not our decision or Henrikh’s but one we made together. We don’t feel he can travel to a major European final and that’s extraordinarily sad.”

“He has had that opportunity taken away from him, one that is a rare opportunity for any player. We’re losing the opportunity of having him to help us win a major trophy. It’s an extraordinary shame,” he added.

The managing director said after the final they will explain to UEFA why it’s unacceptable and must avoid it happening to Arsenal or any other club ever again.

Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has also blamed UEFA  for the decision to play the final in Baku.

“I am not very happy,” the defender told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Firstly because we need to leave one player here, because he can’t play in the final.

“I think UEFA needs to know about the different problems they can have with the politics in the country.

“When one country has a problem with another they should not give the final to that country.

“For us it is difficult because we want to have ‘Micki’ with us. He is an important player for us.”

Mkhitaryan has played 11 games in the Europa League this season, providing three assists.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright branded it an “absolute disgrace” that Mkhitaryan cannot go because of political tensions between his country Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Wright tweeted: “How is this allowed to happen?! It’s all lip service!!! You don’t actually care about the fans or the players!”

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