Furious Koscielny says Baku should not host Europa League final after Mkhitaryan withdraws over safety fears

Furious Koscielny says Baku should not host Europa League final after Mkhitaryan withdraws over safety fears

FURIOUS Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny says the Europa League final should NOT be played in Baku after  Henrikh Mkhitaryan withdrew over safety fears.
French star Koscielny says Uefa should never award a major final to any country which has political issues with other nations.
PA:Press Association Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not play in the Europa League final against Chelsea
And he claimed Mkhitaryan’s painful decision not to travel to Azerbaijan has destroyed next Wednesday’s all—English clash with Chelsea.
Koscielny said: “I’m not very happy because we need to leave one player behind and he can’t play in the final.”
He added, in an interview with the BBC: “When one country has a political problem with another then Uefa shouldn’t give the final to that country.
“We want Mkhi with us because he is an important player for Arsenal.
“But we know about the problems and if he thinks he can’t be safe it’s better for him to stay here.
“This final is very far for the fans of both teams and it’s difficult and very expensive to travel to Baku.
“We will play the game but it’s not the final we dreamed of.”
Gunners’ managing director Vinai Venkatesham fumed: “This situation is unacceptable.
“We don’t feel Henrikh can travel to a major final and that’s sad. He has had the opportunity taken from him and we’re losing a player who could help us win a trophy.
“All we can do is make our point very clearly to Uefa. After the final we will explain to them why this is unacceptable.”
Armenian Mkhitaryan, who also missed out on Arsenal’s Europa League group game against Azerbaijan champs Qarabag in October, said: “It’s the kind of game that doesn’t come along very often for us players and it hurts me a lot to miss it.”
And boss Emery added: “It’s a personal decision and I respect that.”
Mkhitaryan came to his agonising decision following a sinister message from Tahir Taghizadeh, the Azerbaijan ambassador to the UK, who said: “You are being paid as a footballer not a politician, so let’s leave other issues aside.

“Mkhitaryan’s problem is that he has visited a military-occupied portion of Azerbaijan without permission from the Azerbaijani government and this entails consequences.
“My message to Mkhitaryan would be, ‘Go to Baku, you are safe there. But if you want to play the issue it’s a different story’.”
A spokesman for the Azerbaijan FA said: “We have provided all the guarantees required by Uefa to ensure the safety of Mr Mkhitaryan.”
Reuters Laurent Koscielny claimed Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s absence has destroyed the Europa League final
Arsenal players applaud Armenia skipper Henrikh Mkhitaryan as he explains why he can not play in Europa League Final against Chelsea


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