‘I took it calmly’: Journalist of Armenian descent who was blocked by Azerbaijan can go to Euro 2020, Russian ministry confirms

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed {that a} hugely-followed TV commentator shall be allowed to work at Euro 2020 after the Azerbaijan FA initially blocked him as a result of of “trips to the occupied Azerbaijani lands”.

Nobel Arustamyan, who was due to attend the event for Russian channel Match TV, was compelled to anticipate his accreditation in a stand-off that had taken place as a result of of issues from the Azerbaijan FA.

With some matches happening in Baku, Azerbaijan is one of the venues for the event which begins on Friday – and all journalists working on the finals have to be accepted by the host international locations concerned.

Tina Kandelaki, a producer on the channel, had branded the choice “a violation of the spirit of the international sports movement”.

While Arustamyan waited for clearance, Kandelaki added that her crew was doing all it might to resolve the state of affairs involved with event organizers.

Elkhan Mammadov, the manager vice chairman of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA), informed apasport.az that the transfer had been linked to Arustamyan’s journeys to the area of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“I must note that over the past years, this person has repeatedly made illegal trips to the occupied Azerbaijani lands and, during these visits, did not receive permission from the relevant structures of Azerbaijan,” he added.

“He violated our laws, showing disrespect for the territorial integrity of our country.”

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Maria Zakharova later  informed Armradio that Arustamyan’s accreditation had been confirmed, thanking UEFA for resolving the problem.

“I took it very calmly – even with an ironic smile,” Arustamyan informed his Instagram following of greater than 107,000.

“Yes, I have really visited Nagorno Karabakh – and I speak about it openly. This is the homeland of my ancestors – in particular my grandfather, whose surname I bear.

“My roots are there and I’m not ashamed of it. And this has by no means been an issue for me.

“My case shows that the authorities of Azerbaijan, as a state, have zero tolerance towards Armenians worldwide.

“I cannot give lots of of examples, however individuals with twenty-five % Armenian blood, and a passport of one other nation, haven’t been ready to enter Azerbaijan simply because of their surname. They have been merely not allowed to test in for the flight.

“It’s clear I was not planning to visit Baku this summer anyway. They do not expect me in Azerbaijan, they do not welcome me there – just as they have not welcomed all Armenians for a long time.

“I’m effectively conscious of the native Armenophobia. I come from Baku, my dad and mom have been born there, my grandfather is buried there and my entire household is from there. We all had to depart there on the finish of the 80s.

“Therefore, I had no illusions. I wanted to work in other cities. And the block of Azerbaijan was generally expected.”

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