Arsenal midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not play in the Europa League tie against Qarabag on Thursday amid political tensions between Azerbaijan and his native Armenia.
Mkhitaryan, 29, did not travel with the team to capital city Baku on Wednesday.
There are no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan because of the longstanding Karabakh conflict.
“He cannot travel here,” said Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
“We are here, the players with the best mentality and preparation and possibility to play.”
When asked about the dispute between the two nations, Emery said: “My work is football.
“I respect each culture and I respect each country, but I don’t know each situation in every country. For me, he cannot play.
“There is respect for him and respect for you. We are here with the opportunity to play well.”
The 2019 Europa League final will be played in Baku.
When asked if Armenia captain Mkhitaryan would travel to Azerbaijan to play in the final should Arsenal reach that stage, Emery said: “It’s a long time for us to arrive at the final.
“We are working to prepare for the next matches.”
Qarabag head coach Gurban Gurbanov claimed Arsenal had “tried to save” Mkhitaryan from the “pressure” of playing in Azerbaijan.
While playing for Borussia Dortmund in 2015, Mkhitaryan did not travel for a Europa League tie against Azerbaijan Premier League side Gabala because of security concerns.