Hikmet Hajiyev: “Football should not be politicized”

  • 11:15 29 May 2019

Hikmet Hajiyev: “Football should not be politicized”

“The decision on missing the match is his and his club's decision. We, as Azerbaijan, have declared that we will guarantee the safety of all players who come to play in Baku, including Mkhitaryan”, said Hikmet Hajiyev, Head of Foreign Policy Department of the Administration of the President of Azerbaijan Republic, while giving an interview to Italian media, commenting on the situation in the European League's final match to be held in Baku against Arsenal's player Henrik Mkhitaryan, ONA reports.

“Unfortunately, we see the tendency or attempts to politicize football, which is unacceptable. Football, in general, sport, is far from politics and should not be politicized. In this regard, we see an information war against Azerbaijan. We wish success to both clubs, Arsenal and Chelsea. We are committed to promoting the true values of football in the entire European continent and working together to prevent the elements that politicize football for personal purposes”- H.Hajiyev added.

Noting the existence of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, H. Hajiyev also stressed that neither football nor Mkhitaryan’s nationality has anything to do with this and that he can come to Azerbaijan as a footballer: “Armenia continues the war against Azerbaijan and keeps 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands under occupation. 1 million Azerbaijanis were subjected to ethnic cleansing. The United States, France and Russia are trying to settle the conflict peacefully. Azerbaijan supports these efforts. Together with the international community, we are trying to reach a solution to the conflict soon and put an end to the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories by the Armenian Armed Forces”.