By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Instead of recommending their compatriot to take part in the UEFA Europa League Final and wish to win, Armenian MFA and pro-Armenian circles decided to use the player in dirty political games.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, FC Arsenal’s player of Armenian origin, could use his football skills and help his team win the UEFA Europa League trophy, but he made a choice to be a political tool in the hands of the Armenian lobby.
Azerbaijani MFA spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva said that the statement of the Armenian MFA regarding the football match in Baku speaks of the intention to use any means to have a negative impact on the negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the desire to even achieve their postponement.
She recalled that the official agencies of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijan Football Association provided UEFA with full security guarantee for all participants of the Final and their fans.
Abdullayeva also reminded the position of the Azerbaijani MFA on the incompatibility of politics and sport that was repeatedly voiced by the press service.
She noted that the statement by the Armenian FM indicates that the leadership of this country uses sport as a political tool due to internal problems.
She also called absurd the racism accusation of Armenia, a monoethnic country that conducted ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Abdullayeva emphasized that Azerbaijan is known throughout the world for its traditions of tolerance and multiculturalism.
The statement of Arsenal’s player of Armenian origin Henrikh Mkhitaryan that he will not participate in the UEFA Europa League final in Baku was condemned even by Armenian society.
Eurasianet edition has written that many famous persons in Armenia did not agree with the decision of the player to miss the UEFA Europa League final to be held in Baku on May 29.
Ervand Hakobyan, press secretary for the Boxing Federation of Armenia, noted that the criticism directed against Azerbaijan and UEFA is incomprehensible. He added that Mkhitaryan made the decision by himself, despite the fact that Baku provided all the security guarantees.
In addition, Araks Marutyan, a lecturer at the Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture, said that Mkhitaryan is an internationally famous player for Arsenal and he is well protected.
Moreover, one of the commentators on the Eurasianet's post even called Mkhitaryan a “coward” and pointed to Armenian wrestlers who went to Baku for tournaments, including the World Wrestling Championships in 2007 and the European Games in 2015.
The UEFA Europa League final match between the English clubs Arsenal and Chelsea will take place on May 29 at the 68,000-seat Baku Olympic Stadium.
Thus, Mkhitaryan considered it more important to be engaged into political intrigues than to get a pleasure of participating in the UEFA Europa League Final to gain a possible career trophy.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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