The ban of the Azerbaijani authorities on entry to persons of Armenian origin, playing football fans in the Champions League in Baku, causes outrage and anxiety, Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan told reporters on Monday.
Asked to comment that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not attend the match, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said that if the Azerbaijani authorities had given security guarantees, this would not have happened.
As for the mass entry ban for citizens of Armenian descent, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman noted that such behavior of the Azerbaijani authorities causes concern in terms of readiness to create a climate of trust.
“We would welcome Baku’s statement that sport is above politics. Racism is unacceptable in sports. And the ban on entry to fans of Armenian origin is a manifestation of racism and calls into question the holding of an international event of this level in Azerbaijan. The authorities of Azerbaijan should have shown a commitment to establishing peace, but we saw the opposite,” she said.
The UEFA Europa League Final will be held on May 29 in Baku. Earlier, Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp expressed bewilderment over holding the Europa League finals in Baku. Chelsea is scheduled to clash with Arsenal on May 29.
“With Madrid it’s unbelievably expensive, but it’s not another part of the world at least. Going to Baku for a Europa League final is really funny. The guys who make the decisions, I don’t know what they have for breakfast. Last year we went to Kiev, which is a wonderful city, but that a Russian team or a team from that part of the world would be involved is not really likely. These decisions must be much more sensible and reasonable. It looks irresponsible,” The Guardian reported quoting Jurgen Klopp.