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Ryan Giggs: 'Football Association of Wales monitoring Armenia, Azerbaijan conflict'

The two former Soviet republics have been locked for decades in a conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Ryan Giggs says the Football Association of Wales is monitoring the escalating conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, with the Dragons due to play two Euro 2020 matches in Baku next summer.

The two former Soviet republics have been locked for decades in a conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a 1,700 square mile enclave in the Caucasus Mountains.

The disputed region is less than 200 miles from the Azerbaijani capital Baku.

A separatist war fought there between 1988 and 1994 left nearly 40,000 people dead and hostilities between the two nations resumed last weekend, killing dozens and leaving scores wounded.

Wales' opening two games at the delayed 2020 European Championship next June, against Switzerland and Turkey, are at the Olympic Stadium in Baku.

Asked if the FAW might speak to UEFA about the worsening situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, Wales manager Giggs said: "Yeah, I think you have to be flexible in this day and age with the way things are going.

"The world we're living in at the moment, with Covid-19 as well, things change daily.

Armenia Azerbaijan
There is conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan (AP)

"We have to just assess everything regarding the Euros the closer we get to it.

"But you have to be prepared for change and to be flexible."

Giggs has become a regular visitor to Azerbaijan over the last year as Wales won 2-0 in Baku last November on their way to Euro 2020 qualification.

The former Manchester United star has since made the 6,000-mile round trip to check out training facilities and hotels ahead of next summer's pan-Europe finals.

Azerbaijan v Wales – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group E – Bakcell Arena
Kieffer Moore (centre) celebrates scoring as Wales won 2-0 against Azerbaijan in Baku last November (Bradley Collyer/PA)

He says he will decide at the start of next year whether or not to make another pre-tournament journey to Azerbaijan.

"I've already been, but it's something I'll have to think about after the new year in terms of whether I'm going to go (again)," Giggs said.

"I've already seen the hotel, where we're going to train and play. But it's something I'm going to revisit after the new year.

"Obviously we've got the Nations League games before that, and I'm sure at the turn of the year my thoughts will be going more towards the Euros."

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Wales manager Ryan Giggs on October 13, 2019
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Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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