Last Updated: 21/05/19 12:35pm
Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be travelling with the squad to Baku and will miss the Europa League final against Chelsea.
The club say they have no choice but to leave the midfielder at home following security concerns.
Concerns had been raised over the Armenian’s status in the country for the final in Azerbaijan because of non-existent diplomatic relations between the two Caucasus states, which is due to disputes over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Arsenal said in a statement: “We are very disappointed to announce that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be travelling with the squad for our Uefa Europa League final against Chelsea.
“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.
“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.
“We’re also very sad that a player will miss out on a major European final in circumstances such as this, as it is something that comes along very rarely in a footballer’s career.
“Micki will continue to be part of our preparations until we depart for Baku at the weekend.”
When asked by Sky Sports News if the Arsenal forward could contact him directly to guarantee safety assurances ahead of the final, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to the UK, Tahir Taghizadeh, said: “Absolutely.”
He added: “I would be delighted for him to have a conversation with me.
“This is a Class A event, if our purpose is to play political games around it it is something different, you are being paid as a footballer not a politician, let’s leave other issues aside.”
Follow the Europa League final on Sky Sports
You can follow all of the action of Chelsea vs Arsenal from Baku on the Sky Sports App and skysports.com with our dedicated Europa League final live blog, which will feature the best build-up, commentary and reaction.
The Europa League final will take place on Wednesday, May 29; Kick-off is at 8pm.