A fan rushed the field on Thursday waving a flag of the Republic of Artsakh after England’s Arsenal defeated the visiting Azerbaijani team 1 to 0 in a Europa League match. The Azerbaijani team is audaciously called Qarabag.
The Azerbaijani players were not at all pleased at this display of Armenian nationalism. The man carrying the Artsakh flag, which was a flag made in Artsakh, was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with Artsakh Freedom Fighter Monte Melkonian’s picture.
Several Arsenal fan spectators also displayed the Artsakh flag from the bleachers and hailed Arsenal’s victory over the Azerbaijani team.
Sources in London told Asbarez that several Artsakh flags, brought in from Artsakh, made their way to the stadium. Some of the flags were confiscated, but other fans managed to proudly display them throughout the match.
The man who rushed the field pointed to the bench where Armenia’s National Soccer Team captain and midfielder for Arsenal Henrikh Mkhitaryan was sitting. He did not play in the match. Security officials escorted the fan off the field.
Earlier this year, Mkhitaryan stayed home when his Arsenal traveled to Baku to face off against Qarabag.
When the draw for the Europa League determined that Arsenal would have to play in Azerbaijan, Arsenal said: “Safety and security of all our players and staff is always a top priority.”