UEFA Charges Arsenal and Cologne Over Crowd Problems
LONDON (Reuters) - Premier League club Arsenal blamed the selling of tickets by touts for the crowd problems at their Europa League game against German side FC Cologne as UEFA began disciplinary proceedings on Friday.
Cologne and Arsenal have been charged with various offences at the match which was delayed by an hour after large numbers of German fans descended on the Emirates Stadium, the majority of them without tickets.
Many bought tickets for areas of the stadium occupied by Arsenal supporters, causing segregation issues, although there were only isolated incidents of trouble once the game started.
Cologne criticized Arsenal’s security and felt the police presence was not sufficient.
Arsenal said they had worked with the Metropolitan Police and UEFA in deciding whether the game, which the English team won 3-1, went ahead.
“Following last night’s match we would like to stress that fan safety was always our paramount concern and informed all decisions made,” Arsenal said in a statement.
”The 3,000 tickets issued to Cologne fans was in line with competition rules but it is clear many more visiting fans arrived, causing significant congestion and disturbance outside the stadium before kickoff.