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Tuesday 26 September 2017

Cologne fans force delay of Arsenal clash

Over 20,000 Cologne fans arrived in London yesterday, despite receiving an allocation of only 2,900 tickets for last night’s Europa League clash with Arsenal.
Over 20,000 Cologne fans arrived in London yesterday, despite receiving an allocation of only 2,900 tickets for last night’s Europa League clash with Arsenal.

Arsenal's Europa League tie with Cologne has been delayed by an hour in the interest of fan safety.

Thousands of ticketless Cologne supporters turned up at the Emirates Stadium and those fans with tickets were unable to gain access to the ground.

The 60-minute delay was announced inside the stadium with Arsenal "monitoring" the situation.

Cologne supporters flooded into central London throughout Thursday ahead of their Europa League tie with Arsenal.

Around 20,000 fans of the Bundesliga side were expected in the capital on the day of their game at the Emirates Stadium.

Only 3,000 tickets are available to away supporters but that has not stopped many more making the journey from western Germany.

Cologne fans took to the streets in their numbers, with social media posts showing hoards of supporters singing and marching around Oxford Circus hours before the 20.05BST kick-off.

Arsenal's official website warned Cologne fans they faced being asked to leave the stadium if they purchased tickets in the home sections of the ground.

"Please note visiting supporters that purchase a ticket in the home end for this fixture are likely to be ejected from the stadium," a statement on their website read.

Cologne currently sit bottom of the Bundesliga having lost all three of their league games so far - but they reached the Europa League having finished fifth last season.

Head coach Peter Stoger was asked on the eve of the game if he had a message for the thousands of fans making the trip, to which the Austrian replied: "Enjoy the pubs!"

Arsenal are heavy favourites for the Group H opener despite the fact manager Arsene Wenger has stressed he will make sweeping changes to his side.

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