Handed back tickets, fans boycotting final match in Baku
Today in the capital of Azerbaijan one of the most scandalous matches in the history of European football club tournaments will take place - a match between London-representing clubs - Chelsea and Arsenal .
Perhaps this is the case that once again confirms the fact that nowadays there is no sphere where her majesty the politics would not have invaded. Even if the choice of Baku as the venue for the final match is taken for granted, the recent events that have unfolded around the upcoming match, obviously smell like caviar and oil. Due to another unsightly story connected with the impossibility of the participation of Armenian players in a tournament in Azerbaijan, Arsenal in London and one of its key players, Henrikh Mkhitaryan suffered, who will not play, perhaps in the most important tournament in his life.
Despite the fact that promises and guarantees regarding the security of Henrikh Mkhitaryan were heard from the lips of some Azerbaijani diplomats and sports figures, they were so incomprehensible that even people who had no idea about the Artsakh conflict were very skeptical of them.
On this occasion, the Russian Gazeta.ru published a brilliant article, titled “Final League of Europe in Baku is a complete failure. And it is not only about Mkhitaryan.” In particular, it noteds that “the fans of Arsenal and Chelsea appealed for help to the clubs, but it is useless. At Chelsea, they sympathized with them and handed back to the organizers about 3 thousand tickets from a quota of 6 thousand, because many refused to fly. Arsenal has a similar situation: the club returned 2.3 thousand tickets, and one of the main organizations of fans of the Arsenal Supporters, Trust club, stated that many of them were advised not to go to Baku: many would be denied a visa because of Armenian origin". This was also due to the fact that in order to avoid further problems, the British press advised fans to indicate if their name does not contain Armenian roots before applying for an entry visa.
By the way, well-known Russian football commentator Vasily Utkin also refused to go to Baku in protest.
In such conditions, it would be quite logical to hold a tournament of two London clubs in London, but UEFA did not even want to discuss the question of the venue for the match. Moreover, the leadership of the organization strictly forbade the Arsenal players to hold a protest in support of Mkhitaryan, entering the field in T-shirts with his last name.
On the eve the network was distributed by a video, which silenced even the most optimistic citizens. Azerbaijani policemen in the streets of Baku stopped British fans in T-shirts with “Mkhitaryan” print, then called in a panic by phone, apparently, in order to clarify their further actions.
It does not matter that after that the English fans were allowed to continue their walk. It became clear to any sensible person that even the Armenian surname printed on clothes evokes horror and hatred on our “sworn friends's” side, needless to speak about security.
As for the match itself, it can be said with confidence that the whole of Azerbaijan will be cheering for Chelsea. And we can only wish good luck to “Arsenal”, even if it plays without Henrikh.
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