Wenger in Uefa call to look into disruption
ARSENE Wenger (right) expects Uefa to launch an investigation into the crowd disturbances which threatened Arsenal’s Europa League clash against Cologne.
The Gunners ran out 3-1 winners in the Group H opener, which was delayed by an hour after away supporters caused havoc outside the stadium.
As many as 20,000 Cologne fans are believed to have made the journey from western Germany despite only 3,000 tickets being made available.
That meant many attempted to enter without tickets or with tickets for the Arsenal sections, where it soon became clear ahead of kick-off that plenty had succeeded.
Five arrests were made as the Metropolitan Police said that additional officers had been deployed to the area following the unrest.
Substitute Sead Kolasinac volleyed Arsenal level after they went in at half-time trailing to Jhon Cordoba’s long-range effort.
Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin struck to seal the three points from the match but it was off-pitch actions which Wenger believes may now be scrutinised.
Cologne fans clashed with stewards, brought in flares and sat in home sections but it is likely to be Arsenal — as organisers of the match — who face potential sanctions.
Asked if Uefa should take action, Wenger replied: “They are the only master to analyse the facts of what happened. They will certainly make an inquiry to see what happened, for sure.
“They (Cologne fans) were very clever.
“I don’t know how they managed to i nfiltrate our fans and get everywhere but they did that very well. I don’t know if they went through Arsenal membership on the internet, they did very well.
“We waited patiently i n our dressing room but what was difficult for me was I had all kinds of plans to think about at some stage.
“It was all kind of speculations that we had to analyse and see how we can deal with the situation. But in the end, at some stage, I thought they would not play the game because I can’t see the police taking any risk.
“We live in a society of 100% security and I thought they would never take a gamble to play this game when I saw the images around the stadium.
“But I must say our supporters dealt well with the situation as well and there was no aggravation.”
Cologne coach Peter Stoger refused to be questioned on the actions of the club’s supporters: “I have no comment about the fans,” he said.
“I’m the coach, my job is the team, my job is football not the fans.”
A club spokeswoman added: “We have to first inform ourselves and in the next few days we will talk about that.”