LONDON (BBC) — Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not play in the Europa League final against Chelsea on May 29.
It is understood the Armenian, 30, feared for his safety on the pitch in Baku, Azerbaijan.
“Having considered all current options, we had to take the tough decision for me not to travel with the squad to the Europa League final,” said Mkhitaryan. “It’s the kind of game that doesn’t come along very often and I admit, it hurts a lot to miss it.”
As a result of political tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Mkhitaryan has missed club matches played in Azerbaijan in the past.
“We have written to UEFA [Union of European Football Associations] expressing our deep concerns about this situation,” read an Arsenal statement.
“We have thoroughly explored all the options for Micki [Mkhitaryan’s nickname] 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.