You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Fans fighting INSIDE the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal match delayed after 15,000 FC Koln fans cause chaos

Mirror logo Mirror 14/09/2017 Stephen Jones

Fighting has broken out inside Emirates Stadium after fans were finally allowed to enter amid violence and overcrowding fears outside the delayed FC Koln versus Arsenal match.

Footage posted on social media shows fans in the largely empty stadium earlier jostling with each other, stewards and riot police.

German fans entered via Arsenal turnstiles and climbed back into the away fans section as stewards are powerless to stop them.

Police have boosted their resources amid the chaos and patrolled the perimeter of the field with dogs.

Ashley Smith wrote on Twitter: "Fans fighting with stewards inside the Emirates Stadium."

Credits: REUTERS

Credits: REUTERS
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

Video footage earlier showed packed concourses outside the ground while the arena inside remains largely empty - only 30 minutes before the original schedule kick-off.

Reports from outside said police had stopped a march of 15,000 FC Koln fans on the bridge outside after their journey from central London.

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed that “additional officers have been deployed.”

They have been tasked with controlling “disorder” at the Emirates Stadium.

Major problems began outside the ground and the gates had been locked.

Footage shows FC Koln fans kicking down temporary steel crowd barriers in dramatic scenes.

The teams had taken the field to warm up before 8.30pm ahead of the 9.05pm delayed kick-off.

It has been decided that it is safer to go head than to disperse fans.

The game is on and reportedly going ahead due to the problems of dispersing thousands of fans inside and outside the ground.

Meanwhile, Cologne supporters appear to have snuck in a very large drum to spice up the atmosphere even more.

There are strange scenes as Arsenal look set to play a home game with their supporters not having quite the majority in numbers they were meant to have

Daily Mirror chief football writer John Cross tweeted of the chaos: "Crowd trouble erupts inside again as Cologne fans with tickets in the home end try to get in the away end."

He earlier said of outside: "Cologne fans have stormed gates, mayhem outside, the fear is they could end up being in home sections."

Journalist Mark Mann-Bryans wrote on Twitter that things had calmed.

"We were told, though, to remove our press passes as some of those for media/events staff had been stolen by those wanting to enter," he said.

Offside Sports Photography

As fans filled the ground, it appeared a considerable amount of tickets acquired on the black market had been sold.

There were a large amount of away fans in the Arsenal end.

No update from the club yet as to whether they intend to go ahead with the Cologne fans situated in the home end or whether they will attempt to remove them.

The Emirates looked near empty 30 minutes before kick-off.

Reports said no Arsenal fans were inside, other than on the club level. Some FC Köln fans were inside.

Fans were set to finally be allowed in after they were forced to wait outside in large crowds ahead of their Champions League opening match with Cologne.

Police were on the scene outside the ground and have blocked off the concourse outside turnstile J.

The delay of kick-off to 9.05pm is due to overcrowding and fan safety, with fans attempting to rush in for kick-off.

Gunners supporters took to social media to complain about the situation, with some fearing they wouldn’t be in their seats for kick-off.

One fan took to Twitter to write: “Arsenal, why tell us to get here for 7 if your not even going to open the gates!” while another added: “1hr10mins till KO and general admission gates at the Emirates STILL not open. Every queue has Koln fans in it. Loads will be in Arsenal end.”

Guardian football writer Amy Lawrence wrote on Twitter: "All getting a bit tasty outside the Emirates.

"The police have closed the bridge to contain arriving Koln fans."

George Booth tweeted: "Madness at the Emirates, the Cologne fans starting massive brawls left right and centre."

Matt Ford wrote on Twitter: "The rest of the #fckoeln fans are still waiting on the bridge. And now it's raining. At least one Cologne fan has a bleeding head."

A James T tweeted: "Helicopter overhead and plenty of Cologne fans - most ticketless - outside the stadium."

Credits: Action Images via Reuters

Credits: Action Images via Reuters
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

Earlier, the fans had marched across central London and brought the capital to a standstill.

There were unprecedented chaotic scenes amid claims the fans had 'taken over' Soho.

Eyewitnesses say fans of the German club had been "making serious noise", singing with their hands held aloft, and some letting off flares, as they marched through the streets in and around Oxford Street.

The main groups appeared to be making their way to the stadium in North London ahead of the kick-off - with huge crowds gathering the vicinity of Highbury Corner.

But the scenes turned violent as fighting broke out on Wardour Street, Soho, between fans.

Men threw punches and tried to kick each other while fellow fans sang as they marched along the street.

While only around 3,000 tickets for the match went on sale, some estimates put the number of travelling supporters at nearer 20,000.

Police later tonight estimated about 15,000 had attended.

One eyewitness claims on Twitter that he can only see about 30 police officers trying to escort them through central London.

The exact number of travelling fans that have made it as far as Oxford Street is unclear.

The Met Police said there is no significant disturbance and no arrests - but they are "monitoring the situation".

A Met Police spokesman said: "At around 15:00hrs on Thursday, 14 September a large group of football fans gathered in Oxford Street, W1.

"The group were at the location for about 30 minutes whilst they boarded public transport to travel to a football match this evening.

"They did throw bottles and let off flares, but there was no significant disorder, police were on scene and there have been no arrests. The group has now left the area."

However one Twitter user Leonis Ellis claimed that their friends had been punched in the street.

Credits: Offside Sports Photography

Credits: Offside Sports Photography
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

Attaching a photo of the fans to her tweet, she said: "Two seconds later this FC Koln supporter punched my friend filming this footage."

She further claimed that the "police ignored plea to help" - and asked people to share the post on Twitter.

Another Twitter user, Jesper Lofgren, shot footage of a fight in the street breaking out amongst fans from an upstairs window in Wardour Street, where kicks and blows landed.

Another Twitter user, Alicia Robinson, tweeted: "Just a typical Thursday afternoon in Soho with FC Koln football hooligans... thanks for spitting really made my day."

Other witnesses however are saying online that it's a "magnificent sight" out of the windows from offices - and that the away support is creating a "wonderful sound" and "atmosphere".

Meanwhile in North London Twitter user Emily Wearbet posted a pic of a crowded Highbury Corner warning people heading to the game to come early.

The leader of Islington Council Richard Watts also tweeted: "Just popped out to see the chaos around Highbury Corner caused by FC Koln fans. It's a real mess and we'll try to get it sorted ASAP."

And Angus McNeill Peel tweeted that he was witnessing "disgraceful" scenes in Highbury.

The German fans were also spotted waving scarfs and cheering on their way to the match in Camden.

Mirror Online reported earlier that Arsenal have warned travelling Cologne fans that they will be ejected from the Emirates if they're found in the home end - as they brace themselves for a mass invasion in north London.

Cologne are back in European competition for the first time in 25 years and have been handed 3,000 tickets for Thursday's Europa League clash.

The German side have sold out their section, but there are reports that up to 20,000 of the club's 100,000 members could make the journey.

Arsenal, aware of the heavy interest in the fixture from away fans, have looked to shut off any chance for trouble within the ground.

They have tried to shut down any chance of away fans acquiring tickets among the home support, having issued warnings over travelling without tickets.

They also refused to make tickets available to anyone who has joined the club's membership scheme since last month's draw in Monaco.

But one Arsenal fan has been spotted joining in soccer chants with German supporters outside Camden Station, north London.

The incredible footage showed the man jump up and chant in perfect unison with the German-speaking crowd.

Wearing an Arsenal football t-shirt, the man loudly cheered as a supporter rallied the group ahead of the football teams' Europa League clash at the Emirates stadium.

A message on the Arsenal website said: "Please note visiting supporters that purchase a ticket in the home end for this fixture are likely to be ejected from the stadium.

"We have made this decision following consultation with the police and to ensure we are in line with crowd segregation requirements."

Tonight's game is officially sold out, but a capacity crowd is not expected for Arsenal's first ever group stage match in UEFA's secondary competition.

More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon