Ar­se­nal, Cologne charged over fan chaos

Observer on Saturday - - Sport - 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 yes­ter­day.

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.

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.

LON­DON -

“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.”

ROWDY: Fans dur­ing the Ar­se­nal, Cologne match.

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