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28th May 2019

Police in Baku stop Arsenal fans wearing Henrikh Mkhitaryan jerseys

Henrikh Mkhitaryan did not travel to Baku for the Europa League final due to fears over his safety, with his native Armenia still at war with Azerbaijan

Reuben Pinder

Simply for wearing a name on a replica jersey

Arsenal fans, well, those who could afford tickets, flights and accommodation in Baku, have arrived in Azerbaijan ahead of the Europa League final on Wednesday night.

Despite the complications, around 4,000 Gooners have made the journey, many of them buying tickets through local supporters groups in Asia.

This fixture has been the subject of much controversy due to an ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and the host nation’s policy of not allowing Armenian people into the country.

This caused a dilemma for Arsenal – would they bring Henrikh Mkhitaryan, an Armenian citizen, to the final or not?

The club regrettably had to take the decision not to include the midfielder in the squad in order to ensure his safety.

Now, unassuming Arsenal fans wearing replica shirts with Mkhitaryan’s name on the back are getting stopped by the police.

Video footage on social media shows local police stopping Arsenal fans, simply due to the name on their shirt, before getting the go-ahead via their walkie-talkies to let the fans continue about their day.