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Cologne and Arsenal charged by Uefa after crowd control problems

Police formed a line inside Emirates Stadium as the match between Arsenal and Cologne was delayed by an hour

Cologne and Arsenal have both been charged by Uefa following incidents during Thursday’s Europa League match.

The German club face four charges, including crowd disturbances and setting off fireworks while the Gunners face a charge over blocked stairways.

The game was delayed by more than an hour as thousands of away fans arrived at Emirates Stadium without tickets.

About 20,000 Cologne fans turned up in London despite the German club being given a ticket allocation of 2,900.

This case will be dealt with by the Uefa Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on 21 September.

Uefa charges:

Cologne

• Crowd disturbances

• Setting off fireworks

• Throwing of objects

• Acts of damage

Arsenal

Stairways blocked in away supporters sector

Reaction – ‘I thought they would not play the game’

Arsenal have launched a review and their statement on Friday read: “We worked with our colleagues at Cologne to stop supporters travelling without match tickets.

“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 kick-off. Many tickets were sold through touts and this is very disappointing.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he was surprised the match – which his side won 3-1 – was played.

“Do we move it to Tuesday and play Thursday? It was all kind of speculations you know that we had to analyse and see how we can deal with the situation,” he said.

“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 his 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.”

Police said five people had been arrested on suspicion of public order offences.

Cologne fans
Cologne fans had been given a ticket allocation of 2,900 but 20,000 fans travelled over from Germany

How the day unfolded: From a standstill in Oxford Street to scuffles in the stands

Thousands of Cologne fans brought traffic to a halt in central London in the late afternoon/early evening, as they began their journey to the game.

Some 20,000 FC Cologne fans have come to the capital for tonight’s match against Arsenal.

Soon after, it became clear that the sheer numbers of supporters was starting to cause a problem, as documented here from Twitter and our live text of the match.

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