Friday, September 15, 2017

Cologne criticise security at Arsenal over chaos



Cologne criticised security arrangements at Arsenal on Friday after both clubs were charged by UEFA following chaotic scenes that marred their Europa League clash at the Emirates Stadium .

Visiting supporters were issued with around 3 , 000 tickets for Thursday’ s Group H match but about 20 , 000 fans of the German club are believed to have made the journey to the British capital.

The start of the game was delayed by an hour as ticketless Cologne fans tried to gain entry to the ground in north London and there were clearly thousands of away supporters sitting among Arsenal fans , causing a security risk.

The Metropolitan Police said five people had been arrested on suspicion of public order offences and three officers had been injured as a result of the disorder, none of seriously.

The German club said in a statement: “ Too few places were attributed to FC Cologne supporters because five percent of the total capacity of the stadium was not sufficient . It was predictable that several thousand supporters would try to get into the stadium by any means possible . ”

Cologne, who said the troublemakers had “ caused severe damage” to the club, also criticised security arrangements at the Emirates .

“ Despite the immense experience of the London security staff, who are used to Arsenal ’ s regular European matches, those in charge did not sufficiently prepare for the event.

“ The entire security plan and the communication around it appeared to us to be insufficient and there were not enough police on duty . ”

The German club added: “ Although FC Cologne bear no responsibility for the acts of these troublemakers, we apologise to our English hosts . ”

Both clubs now face disciplinary proceedings from European football’ s governing body UEFA .

Cologne fans are accused of crowd disturbances , setting off fireworks, throwing objects and causing acts of damage , while Arsenal face a probe for “ stairways blocked in away supporters sector ”.

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