Arsenal and Cologne to face UEFA disciplinary hearing

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UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against both Arsenal and Cologne after last night’s disturbances and delayed kick-off.

The Gunners ran out 3-1 winners, but the game did not start until 21.05, many Cologne fans had Arsenal tickets, there were scuffles with stewards and police, and flares were let off in the ground.

In a statement, UEFA said:

Disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the UEFA Europa League group stage match between Arsenal FC and FC Köln, played on 14 September in England.

Charges against 1. FC Köln

• Crowd disturbances – Art. 16 (2) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations
• Setting of fireworks – Art. 16 (2) DR
• Throwing of objects – Art. 16 (2) DR
• Acts of damage – Art. 16 (2) DR

Charges against Arsenal FC:

• Stairways blocked in away supporters sector – Art. 38 of UEFA Safety & Security Regulations

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

Earlier, Arsenal released their own statement about what went on, promising a full investigation and pointing the finger squarely at ticket touts.

For more on where the German fans got their tickets, listen to my interview with journalist Cologne based Archie Rhind-Tutt on today’s Arsecast. His section starts at the 13’44 mark.

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Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

At least the Arsenal fans showed some class and didn’t get into scraps with the Cologne fans.

A Yank in King Arsene\'s West Stand
A Yank in King Arsene\'s West Stand

Wish that were true! A guy in my section spent the entire match goading some Koln supporters who outed themselves cheering for their goal (but were otherwise just watching quietly). They even moved seats to get away from him and he followed to keep harassing them. Sort of wish they’d risen to the bait and smacked him. Ah, well.

Isaiah Rankin
Isaiah Rankin

I wonder if the stairways being blocked in the away supporters’ sector had anything to do with the thousands of away supporters who broke into the away supporters’ sector.

Clock End 20
Clock End 20

I was at the game last night and spent an hour wandering round the concourse after I heard the game was postponed, and also spent some time inside the stadium at the away end before KO.

The cologne fans were boisterous and noisy, but weren’t aggressive in any way from what I could see. There were clearly some confrontations with stewards because the cologne fans wanted to sit in the same part of the ground, but in my view a lot of the blame should lie with the club for not managing the ticketing properly.

I would take club and police reports with a pinch of salt – their fans just wanted to have a few beers, sing some songs and watch the football, they weren’t trying to get into fights with Arsenal fans or the police.

Giroud\'s scorpion kick
Giroud\'s scorpion kick

So, the club could have somehow, defeated ticket touts?

Clock End 20
Clock End 20

They clearly could have done more, yes.

There were 20000 cologne fans in the stadium, why were so many let in wearing cologne tops and scarves? In the home end?

Also the club have said they didn’t sell tix to new red members, but that’s clearly not the case cause I’ve read dozens of reports of cologne fans saying that’s exactly how they bought their tickets – by becoming red members and through ticket exchange.

Touts might have sold a few thousand, but there were so many in there there’s no way it was just touts. They bought from the club. From what I could see about 60% of club level was cologne, can’t just be the touts.

Doug
Doug

Exactly how I saw it last night. The club aren’t going to admit to making a complete mess of the ticket sales.

Gordy
Gordy

It wasn’t 60% in Club Level but more away supporters than I’ve ever seen there before. And we couldn’t get alcohol, presumably because there were so many Germans in there. But, of course, we were lucky and looking out on all those people queuing for hours, there must have been quite a few who just gave up and went home. What a terrible first half but what an enjoyable second but what on earth has happened to Holding?

Doug
Doug

The stewards could have refused entry to the cologne fans who were brazenly wearing their colours as the walked through the turnstile though.

GraeGooner
GraeGooner

I think stopping them would have exacerbated the situation and more confrontation would result. I also understand that Cologne fans were wearing Arsenal scarves to avoid that.

I think it ridiculous for Cologne to say we should have sold them more tickets – we do that and still more would come. If it were an English team going abroad in that way the reports would have been of “thugs travelling ticketless to seek trouble”. UEFA/FA are the worst culprits for restricting ticket numbers to fans.

Having said that, Arsenal could have treated it as an FA Cup tie and allocated the away end at the outset IF Cologne had asked for more and our sales were to be low as expected. Just unfortunate that this was first game, that MME is included in season ticket and we haven’t got control of our borders.

COYG
COYG

Mandatory jail time for Josh and Stan Kroenke. Only acceptable outcome.

santori
santori

Arsenal fans are as per usual absent.

Koln losing and all we heard were their fans in full voice.

Their fans wanted to come to the game so desperately, where were our fans? Empty seats galore.

We don’t half support our team as much as the Germans. Its pathetic.

Badaab
Badaab

Can you blame fans for apathy after our concerns have been systematically ignored by the ownership? Its the only way to get the ownership and board to pay attention.

Swing
Swing

Blah blah blah koln are bottom of the league and how many times have they been relegated, yet they can still support arsenal fans are a disgrace

NaiBoi Gunner.
NaiBoi Gunner.

I have never seen anything that exciting as far as European football fans is concerned. By that I mean how Cologne fans took over the town, I can only compare their march through London with how fans of my local Club Gor Mahia, known as “The Green Army”, take over the streets of Nairobi especially on Derby day. I have nothing but respect for the cologne fans and how they turned up for their team at the emirates as well. They sang their hearts out. I am glad there were no violent incidences(and if there were any I am glad no serious injuries were reported.)

That being said, I guess Uefa have to show us they are incharge because as much as what happened was about the love of the game, sadly it can not be allowed to happen again because I see how there is so much potential for things to go south very quickly.

Beautiful, magical night. But safety first, always.