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FC Cologne Fined €60,000 for Fans Damaging Emirates Stadium

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 30, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Fans of Koeln are seen during the UEFA Europa League group H match between Arsenal FC and 1. FC Koeln at Emirates Stadium on September 14, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

German outfit FC Cologne have been fined €60,000 (£53,000) by European football's governing body, UEFA, and forced to pay Arsenal damages following their UEFA Europa League meeting at the Emirates Stadium in September.

Cologne were allocated 3,000 tickets but more than 15,000 made their way to north London, reported the London Evening Standard's James Olley:

According to the report, Cologne's travelling supporters were found guilty on four charges—crowd disturbances, setting off fireworks, throwing objects and acts of damage—while Arsenal escaped any punishment.

The Times' Henry Winter provided a more comprehensive breakdown of the charges applied to both teams:

Henry Winter @henrywinter

From UEFA following Cologne incidents at Emirates https://t.co/RVASZ9Q7eR

It's been suggested the ease with which Cologne fans were able to buy tickets from touts outside the venue aided the disturbances, although the result was not what the guests hoped for as Arsenal ran out 3-1 winners.

Cologne's reported ban from selling tickets is suspended for two years and thus doesn't present an immediate problem, although Gracenote Sports statistician Simon Gleave spotted a flaw with such a punishment in general:

Simon Gleave @SimonGleave

@matt_4d In other words, the solution (albeit suspended) to a situation in which fans bought tickets from the team they were visiting is to ban the sale of tickets by Cologne? Won't that just create the same problem again?

It's unspecified as to how much the Bundesliga team will be expected to pay Arsenal in their settlement, the Telegraph's Sam Wallace reporting at the time that Arsenal fans were left "unsafe" as a result of their fans' actions.

Kick-off at the Emirates was delayed by an hour as a result of the breach, and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger spoke after the match of what ran through his head: 

"I had all kinds of plans to think about. Do we play tomorrow? What time? Or next week? But they had a Bundesliga game and we had the League Cup. Do we move it to Tuesday and play Thursday?

"At some stage I thought they will not play the game. I cannot see the police taking any risk. We live in a society of 100 per cent security and I thought they wouldn't take the risk. Our supporters dealt well with the situation and I hope that nothing happens after the game."

Despite not incurring any fines of their own, Arsenal have announced they will review their Family and Friends plan, which allows one club member to buy multiple tickets in certain fixtures.

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