Fans of German club caused chaos before yesterday’s Europa League clash in north London as UEFA open hearing
COLOGNE have accused Arsenal and the Metropolitan Police for failing to being prepared for rhe Europa League clash at the Emirates.
The German club have apologised for the behaviour of some of the fans who attacked stewards and police before the game which was nearly postponed – and kicked off an hour late.
Arsenal and Cologne have been charge by Uefa over Thursday’s incident which saw around 20,000 fans descend on London – and about 10,000 get into the game.
Arsenal have promised to ban any members who are found guilty of selling tickets to Cologne supporters.
In a statement, Cologne, who were given an official allocation of 3000 tickets, said: “Due to the enormous demand for tickets, it would have been sensible, not least for security reasons, to allow more than the allocated five per cent of stadium capacity to the guest fans.
“It was apparent that thousands of people from Cologne would seek to avoid the restrictions and get tickets in every way possible.
“One such way would be through the help of Arsenal supporters, who passed on their tickets to the FC fans. Some as gifts, but some also for horrendous prices.
“And also despite the tremendous experience of both the London security forces and Arsenal as a permanent partaker in European football, the organisers were unfortunately not adequately prepared for the task.
“In our view, the security concept and communication seemed inadequate and the police force too small.
“FC Cologne would like to unmistakably make it clear that there is no excuse or justification for the fact that a group of so-called disturbers threatened, insulted, and even attacked stewards and police officers without cause. We distance ourselves from this explicitly.”
In their statement, Arsenal said: “Unfortunately there were clearly many Cologne supporters in Arsenal sections of the stadium. They obtained their tickets illegally most likely via ticket touts.
“We continue to work hard to try to eradicate ticket touts and would urge all supporters not to sell or buy tickets from touts.
“Any tickets found that have been sold or purchased illegally will be traced back to the original purchaser who will have their membership cancelled and the appropriate action taken.”
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Uefa yesterday opened disciplinary proceedings against both clubs.
Arsenal face a fine of about £7000 after being charged with blocking stairways in the away supporters section of the stadium.
Cologne have been charged on four counts – crowd disturbances, the setting off of fireworks, throwing objects and acts of damage. They are expected to be fined about £18,000.
Arsenal are waiting to see if they are hit with any further charges.