Azerbaijan's ambassador to UK guarantees safety for Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Azerbaijan’s UK ambassador Tahir Taghizadeh has guaranteed safety for Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan,who is also a captain of Armenia’s national team, at the Europa League Final in Baku.
When asked if the Gunner could contact him directly to guarantee safety assurances ahead of the final vs Chelsea, Taghizadeh, said: "Absolutely. I would be delighted for him to have a conversation with me.
"This is a Class A event, if our purpose is to play political games around it it is something different, you are being paid as a footballer not a politician, let's leave other issues aside," Taghizadeh told Sky Sport News.
"His problem is that he has visited a military occupied portion of Azerbaijan which in doing so without permission from the Azerbaijani government. This entails consequences including blacklisted by the government. But he will be able to have security and safety guarantees," he added.
"My message to Mkhitaryan would be: you're a footballer, you want to play football? Go to Baku you are safe there, if you want to play the issue then that's a different story. What I can guarantee is that the Azerbaijan government will do everything what needs to be done and provide safety and security for every fan, player and staff member coming to this game," Taghizadeh concluded.