Azerbaijani official: Football should not be politicized

  29 May 2019    Read: 1958
 Azerbaijani official: Football should not be politicized

Football, sports in general, is beyond politics and should not be politicized, Hikmet Hajiyev, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, said in an interview with an Italian media outlet.

“It was his and his club’s decision not to come to Baku. Azerbaijan, as a country hosting the UEFA Europa League final, has guaranteed the safety of all players, including Henrikh Mkhitaryan,” Hajiyev said while commenting on Mkhitaryan’s refusal to arrive in Baku for the final match.

Hajiyev stressed that the politicization of football is unacceptable.  

“Football, sports in general, is beyond politics and should not be politicized. In this context, we are witnessing the elements of an information war. We wish both clubs every success in the final match. We aim to promote the true values of football throughout Europe and make joint efforts to set aside the elements that politicize football for personal goals,” he said.

Answering the question on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the official said that it is wrong to look for a connection between this conflict, the match being held in Baku and the ethnic background of Mkhitaryan.

“Armenia continues its aggressive policy against Azerbaijan, keeping 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories under occupation. Over a million Azerbaijanis were subjected to ethnic cleansing. The United States, France and Russia are working as mediators for finding a peaceful solution to the conflict. Together with international community Azerbaijan tries to settle this conflict as soon as possible and ensure the liberation of its territories occupied by Armenia,” Hajiyev added.

The final match of the UEFA Europa League will take place today on May 29, at the Baku Olympic Stadium. The match between the English clubs Chelsea and Arsenal will begin at 23:00 (GMT +4).

More about: Hikmet-Hajiyev   Baku   Europa-League