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Azerbaijan FA insist safety of Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan is 'guaranteed' ahead of Europa League final

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The Azerbaijan FA has insisted that there is “no issue” over the safety and security of Arsenal attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who is likely to be left out of the Europa League final against Chelsea in Baku.

Elkhan Mammadov, the general secretary of the Azerbaijan FA, told the Daily Telegraph that Mkhitaryan’s security is “guaranteed” in Baku.

Arsenal are yet to make a final decision on whether to include Mkhitaryan in their squad due to security concerns related to diplomatic tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

There were similar guarantees ahead of Arsenal’s group stage match in Baku earlier this season, when Mkhitaryan was left behind in London.

“Our government authorities provided guarantees to Uefa for Mkhi to come to Baku, so there is no issue of security and safety,” said Mammadov.

“Even before Arsenal qualified for the final, we received a request from Uefa to provide the guarantees, our state authorities provided all the necessary security arrangements for Mkhitaryan to travel to Baku.

All the safety and security is already guaranteed.” The assurances are unlikely to convince Arsenal that including Mkhitaryan in the squad is worth the heightened risk, however.
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