Henrikh Mkhitaryan May be Banned from Baku due to ‘Armenophobia’

Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan gestures during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match FC Ingolstadt 04 vs Borussia Dortmund, on August 23, 2015 in Ingolstadt, southern Germany (Source: AFP Photo/Christof Stache)
Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan gestures during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match FC Ingolstadt 04 vs Borussia Dortmund, on August 23, 2015 in Ingolstadt, southern Germany (Source: AFP Photo/Christof Stache)

Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan gestures during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match, on August 23, 2015 in Ingolstadt, Germany (Source: AFP Photo/Christof Stache)

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the Armenian midfielder who plays for Borussia Dortmund and the Armenian national soccer team, could face trouble during an upcoming game taking place in Azerbaijan due to what the Armenian Foreign Ministry is calling Azerbaijan’s “Armenophobia.”

Speaking to Armenpress, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tigran Balayan, said that the issue is connected to Mkhitaryan’s Armenian ethnicity and nationality.

“The ridiculous attitude of [the] Azerbaijani side is not something new to us, as any person with an Armenian name is prohibited to enter Azerbaijan. The latter completely reflects the country’s policy guidelines of Armenophobia propaganda. It is clear that visiting Artsakh has nothing to do with it.”

According to Balayan, last year a Turkish citizen was stopped in a Baku airport and prohibited from entering Azerbaijan because his last name ended in “yan,” the common Armenian suffix for last names.

Earlier, Borussia Dortmund expressed hope that Mkhitaryan would not encounter any problems during his visit to Azerbaijan to play against Qabala with the Europa League. Press secretary of the Dortmund club, Sascha Fligge, said that, “at this moment, Henrikh is a very important player for us and played [wonderfully] during the last weeks, so we hope that Mkhitaryan will have no problems playing in the [Europa League].”

At the same time, AzeriSport.com wrote that Mkhitaryan could be arrested if he travels to Azerbaijan for the match against Qabala, which is scheduled to take place on October 22. “His visit to Nagorno-Karabakh can be the reason for it,” wrote the Azeribaijani website. Mkhitaryan visited Artsakh in 2011.

Meanwhile, Nikita Simonyan, acting president of the Russian Sports Federation, has said that sports laws oblige Azerbaijan to permit Mkhitaryan’s entry into the country.

“If Mkhitaryan is not allowed to take part in the match, either he or his club will have to apply to the UEFA [Union of European Football Associations], given that Azerbaijan has no legal grounds to prevent him from playing for Borussia in Azerbaijan.  So, Baku’s obstacles will roughly violate football laws,” Simonyan told championat.com.

UEFA Secretary General Gianni Infantino said at a press conference in Monaco that his organization will do its best to help Mkhitaryan take part in the Borussia-Qabala match in Baku.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry continues its notorious policy of blacklisting individuals who have travel the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, saying that they must make “prior arrangements” with Baku.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hikmet Hajiyev said that official Baku does not mix politics with sports and views soccer as a team sport, thus Borussia Dortmund could be considered a team when entering Azerbaijan.

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4 Comments

  1. Random Armenian said:

    Silly people. One time they sent a Turkish athlete back to Turkey because his last name ended in ‘yan’. He wasn’t Armenian.

    Then again, I would be somewhat worried about his security. He’s a higher international profile target than other Armenian athletes who have competed in Azerbaijan.

  2. ara said:

    why would we want our good man and blood to go to the territories of our enemy-the dirt there is a danger to all-until we get all our lands back from them and their cuzzins- i salute them with a thousand middle fingahs-azeris are dirt-they are cowards-they are scum

    • Simon said:

      First of all, learn to write proper english you fool. Also, next time try to study your own country’s history. The armenian people have taken Qarabag from Azerbaijan, and not vice versa. Try to look at the city names, all of them are and have always been Azeri names. Read some books or something.

      • Simons a clown said:

        Simon you are really funny man talking about aras needs to read a book. How about you open up a map of the world in the year 300 ad. And tell me where you see turkey or azerbijan, they took are land first we fought back in a unfair fight in which azeri soilders came to fight armenian soilders in the middle of the night and this is only one unfair “battle” out of all the unfair “battles” azeri or turks have been apart. Armenians fight fare and kill people with a weapon in their hand. Azeri and turks ARE GUILTY for killing children and unarmed femlas.. And you guys are supposed to be good muslims who respect females.. Shame on all of you dont talk back to Armenians stating facts because we have eachothers backs and well always win the right way because at the end of the day we all know the truth. So go fuck ya self as my Italian friends would say

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