Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss Arsenal's Europa League trip to Qarabag
Political tension in the region will prevent him from travelling
Henrikh Mkhiyaryan will miss Arsenal's Europa League group stage match away to Qarabag due to political tension in the region.
The midfielder will not be permitted entry to Azerbaijan, where Qarabag are based, as the country do not allow Armenian citizens to come into the country.
There are still tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia across the Nagorno-Karabakh region, with a ceasefire declared in 1994 after war broke out several years earlier.
Mkhitaryan did not travel to Azerbaijan during his time as a Borussia Dortmund player for a match against Qarabag, with the German club’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke citing “safety concerns”.
After the Europa League draw, UEFA released a statement on Mkhitaryan's situation to Press Association sport: “It is a standard procedure for UEFA to send letters of support to associations, clubs or embassies in order to obtain visas for players in order to be able to travel to another country and play in UEFA competition matches.”
However, Arsenal have decided against attempting to seek the necessary international clearance that would enable Mkhitaryan to travel, meaning he will miss the tie.
Mkhitaryan would be required to apply to the Azerbaijani government for a permit to make the trip to Baku but Arsenal have decided against going through the process.
If he was able to travel, there would be a safety risk due to his standing as one of Armenia's most famous public figures.
He has struggled to break into Arsenal's first team ahead of Mesut Özil and Aaron Ramsey this season, but he would presumably have been part of the squad for the Qarabag tie, as Unai Emery will no doubt rotate his team for Europa League fixtures.
The final of this season's Europa League will also be held in Baku this season, at the Olympic Stadium, meaning that should Arsenal reach the final, Mkhitaryan would not be able to play in that game either.