Arsenal players won’t be able to show Armenian international midfielder and teammate Henrikh Mkhitaryan any form of support by wearing shirts with his name on for their Europa League final warm-up in Baku, that’s according to Sportmail.
This is because a strict UEFA rule prohibits such, as warm-up shirts and their post-match equivalents are subject to approval by European football’s governing body.
The 30-year-old is unable to feature for the Gunners against Chelsea in Wednesday’s final as there aren’t guarantees over his safety.
Armenians are banned and barred from entering Azerbaijan due to political unrest between both countries.
Arsenal had discussed wearing shirts with Mkhitaryan’s name on the back for the warm-up as a form of show of solidarity and support.
The Gunners are now likely to call off such plans due to UEFA rules and because they are also wary about making a statement about the player that could invite any form of hostility from the locals.
It’s another huge blow after the former Manchester United man made the decision not to go to Baku.
But the Gunners know they can’t afford any more distractions as winning the match is their only chance of playing Champions League football next season, and then boosting their transfer coffers this summer.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago