Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Miss Europa League Final Due to Political Climate

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Athletes commonly miss games due to injuries or personal reasons, but it’s not often that they forego a match due to dangerous political situations. Often an individual’s presence or absence will have a major impact on the sport bet being placed, and Arsenal winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan is such an example.

He has decided not to travel with the rest of the squad to Baku, Azerbaijan, where his team will battle Chelsea in the UEFA Europa League tournament final on May 29.

The Armenian national team captain, who previously played for both Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund, discussed the prospect of traveling to Baku with his family, and after doing so, elected to stay home. Chelsea are the favorites for the UEL final, and if you’re going to be doing some sport betting canada, you won’t see the odds move more favorable towards the Gunners after the Micki announcement.

According to ESPN, “Arsenal had asked UEFA to provide assurances that it would be safe for Mkhitaryan to travel amid ongoing tensions between the two countries.”

Obviously, UEFA failed massively in this regard.

“We have thoroughly explored all the options for Micki to be part of the squad but after discussing this with Micki and his family we have collectively agreed he will not be in our traveling party,” reads a statement published by the club today.

“We have written to Uefa expressing our deep concerns about this situation. Micki has been a key player in our run to the final so this is a big loss for us from a team perspective.”

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Azerbaijan’s Football Association had made assurances to Arsenal that Mkhitaryan would have no issues in travel to Baku, but obviously those overtures were not enough to give Mkhitaryan and his family peace of mind.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, also contributes to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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