BC-SOC--Europa League Final-Mkhitaryan,132

Azerbaijan indicates Mkhitaryan can play in Europa final

Eds: APNewsNow.

Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry has indicated Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan can play in the Europa League final in Baku despite tension between Azerbaijan and his native Armenia. Asked about Mkhitaryan, ministry spokeswoman Leyla Abdullayeva tells The Associated Press that "Azerbaijan has hosted many major sports events, and Armenian athletes took part in them."

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry has indicated Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan can play in the Europa League final in Baku despite tension between Azerbaijan and his native Armenia.

Asked about Mkhitaryan, ministry spokeswoman Leyla Abdullayeva tells The Associated Press that "many major sports events have been hosted in Azerbaijan, and Armenian athletes have taken part in them. Sports and politics are separate."

Nagorno-Karabakh is a region of Azerbaijan which has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994.

Mkhitaryan did not travel with the Arsenal squad for a group-stage game in Azerbaijan earlier this season.

Arsenal has said it is seeking assurances from UEFA that Mkhitaryan can travel for the May 29 final against Chelsea.

———

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.