Earlier today Arsenal were drawn against Azerbaijani champions Qarabag in the group stage of the Europa League.
This presents something of a problem for the Gunners as due to a conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the government there has placed a ban on any Armenian citizen entering the country.
Although an exception was made for the 2015 European games, it remains to be seen if they would do likewise for an individual, and that could force Arsenal to leave the former Borussia Dortmund man at home.
It might also come into play should we progress the final which is due to take place at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan on 29 May 2019.
It’s an issue the 29 year old has had to deal with before when Dortmund faced Gabala in the Europa League in 2015, the German side decided to leave him out of the squad citing ‘security concerns’ as the reason for his absence.
Frankly, if this restriction is in place, UEFA need to think very carefully about the participation of clubs from nations with such restrictive practices.
We’ll try and get some more clarification on this and update here on site as soon as we have it.