Bundesliga side Cologne have sensationally blamed Arsenal Football Club for their involvement in troubling scenes ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash.
The two sides saw their game delayed by an hour after a large number of Cologne fans made it into sections of the stadium designated for home fans, with reports that some managed to gain entry without a ticket. Cologne were allocated 2,600 tickets for the encounter at the Emirates, but a staggering 20,000 fans were believed to have made the short trip to London from Western Germany.
However, despite it being their fans in the wrong, Cologne have pointed the finger at Arsenal for their involvement in the incident.
In a statement, Cologne said:
“In our view, the security concept and communication seemed inadequate and the police force too small.
“Due to the enormous demand for tickets, it would have been sensible, not least for security reasons, to allow more than the sensible, not least for security reasons, to allow more than the allocated five per cent of stadium capacity to the guest fans.
“It was apparent that thousands of people from Cologne would seek to avoid the restrictions and get tickets in every way possible.
“One such way would be through the help of Arsenal supporters, who passed on their tickets to the FC Cologne fans. Some as gifts, but some also for horrendous prices.”
Both Arsenal and Cologne have been charged by UEFA following the incidents.