BT Sport’s Europa League coverage hampered as fan clashes push back Arsenal v Cologne kick-off

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FC Koeln fans are held by police ahead of arriving at the Emirates Stadium

A rush of fans outside Emirates Stadium delayed BT Sport’s scheduled broadcast of Arsenal v Cologne by a full hour on Thursday night (September 14).

BT Sport 2 was all primed to broadcast the Europa League match from 8pm on Thursday night, before Arsenal announced it would be pushing back the kick-off to 9.05pm “in the interests of crowd safety”.

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According to BBC Sport, as many as 20,000 ticketless German fans gathered outside Emirates Stadium despite Cologne only being allocated just 2,900 tickets in total.

This seemingly created a tense atmosphere, with those inside and outside the venue sharing photos and videos of clashes between the two opposing sides. Below are just a few of the more tense confrontations:

Ahead of kick-off, a police spokesperson confirmed that flares were set off in an attempt to calm the hostile crowd but stressed that there had been “no significant disorder”.

Nevertheless, at least hundreds of Cologne supporters were blocked behind barriers outside Emirates Stadium as daylight gave way to darkness.

Some away fans with tickets complicated the standoff between the two sides further by allegedly entering the stadium through the home section. Below, you can see a throng of fans chanting and singing inside the venue:

Earlier in the day, Arsenal warned off Cologne fans from attempting to enter the stadium through the home section in a statement on its official website.

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

ITV is still scheduled to air highlights of the game tonight at 10.40pm.


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