Arsenal Vs FC Koln Finally Kicks Off After Violence Sparked By Thousands Of Ticketless German Fans

Chaotic scenes outside North London ground as 20,000 fans outstrip allocation.

Arsenal’s Europa League game against FC Koln descended into chaos and violence as 20,000 German fans travelled to North London - far above the club’s 3,000 ticket allocation.

With the Emirates Stadium swamped with Cologne fans, the game was delayed by 60-minutes amid reports of fighting and over-crowding. Despite some fearing the match would have to be postponed, the game eventually kicked off late.

The Metropolitan Police closed two main bridges providing access to the ground two hours before kick off as thousands of Cologne supporters caused congestion and fans struggled get anywhere near to turnstiles.

The club cited “safety concerns” for the delay.

Earlier in the day, parts of central London came to a standstill as the German fans marched down Oxford Street - with video shared widely on social media.

The game marks the first time in 25 years Cologne has played in an international club competition.

Later it appeared the away fans had completely taken over the Arsenal home end, with reports of fighting between Koln fans and ground stewards and police.

ITV’s political editor and Arsenal fan Robert Peston was at the game, and described Cologne fans as a “disgrace”.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police read: “Officers are dealing with disorder at the Emirates Stadium where fans have gathered for the Arsenal vs FC Koln match. A policing plan is in place for the game. Additional officers have been deployed.”

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