Baku, Azerbaijan, May 22
UEFA Europa League final match will be held between English teams Arsenal and Chelsea on May 29, said former US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza.
“I think it is wonderful that Baku will host the Europe League Final next week, on the 29th of May, between Arsenal and Chelsea,” Bryza said. “This is a golden opportunity for Baku to show all of Europe and the world what a beautiful city it is, what a wonderful place it is to live as I know from my own experience with my family and what a safe place it is.”
“I am disappointed that the Armenian national player for Arsenal Mkhitaryan has decided not to join his team, citing safety concerns,” he added. “This is obviously a very personal choice. I mean it’s probably costing him a lot of money not to participate.”
“I don’t think it is a wise decision,” he said. “I don’t think there is any reason for him to fear for his safety by virtually being on the field in Baku. I actually know Armenian people who have quietly visited Azerbaijan, but it’s a personal decision. I hope that won’t detract from what it be a fantastic game or detract from people fully embracing the beauty of Baku. And I think of course this game and showcasing Baku is well beyond politics.”
The match will start at 23:00 (GMT+4) at the 68,000-seat Baku Olympic Stadium.
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