Uefa charge Arsenal and Cologne over crowd issues
European football’s governing body Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings after crowd issues marred the Europa League clash between Arsenal and Cologne at the Emirates Stadium. Last night’s group H encounter kicked off an hour late after more than 20,000 Cologne fans were reported to have been inside the ground despite only having an allocation of 2,900 tickets.The Guardian reports that both clubs will face charges by Uefa. Arsenal face a charge for “stairways blocked in away supporters’ sector” while the German side face four charges – for crowd disturbance, setting off fireworks, the throwing of objects and acts of damage by fans.The Gunners, who won the match 3-1, issued a statement today after the chaos. “Following last night’s UEFA Europa League match with Cologne we would like to stress that fan safety was always our paramount concern and informed all decisions made,” said the club.“We worked in full consultation with police and UEFA officials on the night and in advance of the game and had taken extensive steps in advance to prevent tickets being sold to visiting supporters. This included a number of measures including ensuring no tickets were sold via general sale and that no red memberships purchased after the draw were able to be used to get tickets in the home end for this match.