Arsenal and Cologne have been charged by Uefa for multiple incidents following the controversial Europa League tie at The Emirates Stadium on Thursday [15 September]. The match was delayed by 60 minutes after some ticketless away fans attempted to force their way into the ground, though thousands were still able to obtain entry into home areas of the stadium – leading to clashes with stewards and the deployment of riot police.
Five people have been arrested for public order offences, and Uefa have now taken action against both clubs. The Gunners have been charged with the blocking public stairways in the overpopulated away section, while the visitors have been hit with four breaches of the disciplinary code. The charges include crowd disturbances, setting off flares, throwing of objects and acts of damage.
Uefa's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body will rule on the charges on 21 September, with Arsenal facing a €8,000 [£7,025] fine for their single offence. Cologne faces fines of at least €6,500 [£5,708] after at least three flares were lit during the match and the crowd clashed with officials but that penalty is likely to increase for other infringements.
Despite being given an allocation of 2,900 for the match, an estimated 17,000 Cologne fans managed to gain entry to The Emirates with many having purchased tickets in the home end. Stewards did eject individuals located among season ticket holders following celebrations after Cologne took the lead in the first half.
Speaking after the game, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger called for Uefa to take action against Cologne's supporters, whom he described as "clever" for gaining entry to the stadium. "They have to analyse the facts of what happens," he told reporters. "They will certainly make an enquiry into seeing what happened for sure. "They were very clever I don't know how they managed to infiltrate our fans and they got everywhere. They did that very well."
Arsenal have pledged to conduct a full investigation into the events before and during the game and claim that many tickets were obtained through third party sales rather than directly through official channels. However, they appear to have avoided further punishment despite the ease at which Cologne fans entered the stadium.
"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," a statement read.
"We also 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."