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UEFA’s Europa League final disgrace continues

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This is ridiculous.

Previews - UEFA Europa League Final Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

File this one under “who didn’t see this shitshow coming a mile away”:

That is plainly chilling. Two Arsenal fans who made the long, expensive trek to Baku to watch their team play were stopped, albeit briefly, by the police, for the “crime” of wearing a Henrikh Mkhitaryan shirt out in public.

I, we, and the broader supporter community, both locally in London and across the internet, have made our displeasure with UEFA’s choice of final venue for the Europa League plain in the last couple weeks, and incidents like this are why. These two guys just got stopped briefly, sure, but what’s to prevent some overzealous Azerbaijani cop from throwing the next Mkhi-shirt wearing Arsenal fan in the closest prison for a few days? Especially if they have a pretext, like “this person was drunk in public” or something else that could easily be used as an excuse to further their political agenda?

UEFA should be ashamed of themselves for everything that has happened in the runup to this final. I hope that everyone in Baku for the game remains safe and unbothered.