ARSENAL supporters are being stopped by police in Baku — over whether they have Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s name on the backs of their shirt.
The Armenian, 30, made the decision to stay at home instead of travelling to Azerbaijan after Arsenal were not convinced his safety could be guaranteed.
And according to Times writer Henry Winter, fans wearing flags are being stopped by cops checking whether they have Mkhitaryan’s name on the backs of their shirts.
The same happened yesterday to two Arsenal fans who strolled around Baku, only to be stopped by baton-wielding officers.
It is unclear why authorities stopped the fans, as they had a conversation on their radios before letting the supporters walk on.
In a country that is keen to show its Western values to the world, the checks have exposed an authoritarian underbelly to Azerbaijan’s society.
Armenia and Azerbaijan hotly dispute the Nagorno-Karabakh region that borders the two countries.
The region sparked an armed conflict between the countries in 2016 and they have since maintained a cease fire.
And the bitter territorial dispute has had a knock-on effect on Mkhitaryan even playing the showpiece final.
Chelsea and Arsenal fans were involved in violent clashes overnight and two people were taken to hospital, according to reports in the country.
SunSport is working to verify the reports.