EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Uefa charges Arsenal, Cologne after fan chaos during Europa League clash at Emirates Stadium

The start of the match was delayed as ticketless Cologne fans sought to gain entry to the ground even as thousands of away supporters sat among Arsenal fans

European football chiefs charged Arsenal and Cologne on Friday after vast numbers of away fans gained access to the home sections of Emirates Stadium, sparking chaotic scenes that marred the Europa League clash.

Visiting fans were issued with 3,000 tickets but around 20,000 fans of the German club are believed to have made the journey to the British capital.

The start of the match was delayed by an hour as ticketless Cologne fans tried to gain entry to the ground in north London and there were clearly thousands of away supporters sitting among Arsenal fans, causing a security risk.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he had been preparing for a postponement, describing the decision to play Thursday’s Group H tie as a “gamble”.

Both clubs now face disciplinary proceedings from governing body Uefa.

Cologne fans are accused of crowd disturbances, setting off fireworks, throwing objects and causing acts of damage, while Arsenal face a probe for “stairways blocked in away supporters sector”.

Uefa said it would deal with the cases on September 21.

Five arrests were made during the evening. Arsenal issued a statement insisting the safety of supporters was the main concern at the time as the club launched a “full review” of the events.

Earlier, YouTube footage showed thousands of Cologne fans surging through the streets of London, chanting in unison and setting off flares.

“Following last night’s Uefa Europa League match with Cologne, we would like to stress that fan safety was always our paramount concern and informed all decisions made,” Arsenal’s statement said.

“We have launched a full review into the circumstances surrounding the game and will ensure any lessons that can be learned are used in the future.”

Arsenal said they were investigating how away fans gained access after pictures emerged of a minority of Cologne supporters causing problems for stewards inside the stadium.

‘Shame on Club’

“They (Cologne fans) were very clever,” said Wenger. “I don’t know how they managed to infiltrate our fans and get everywhere but they did that very well. I don’t know if they went through Arsenal membership, on the internet... they did very well.

“I thought they would not play the game, because I can’t see the police taking any risk.

“We live in a society of 100 percent security and I thought they would never take a gamble to play this game when I saw the images around the stadium. But I must say our supporters as well dealt well with the situation and there was no aggravation.”

Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn said fans who misbehaved had “brought shame on the club” and club legend Bodo Illgner, a World Cup-winning goalkeeper with Germany in 1990, also criticised the small minority of fans who misbehaved.

Arsenal’s statement also said it was “very disappointing” that so many home tickets appeared to have been purchased by Cologne supporters via ticket touts after the club worked closely with police, who deployed extra numbers once the trouble began, and Uefa.

“The 3,000 tickets issued to Cologne fans was in line with competition rules but it is clear many more visiting fans arrived, causing significant congestion and disturbance outside the stadium before kick-off,” it said.

“Many tickets were sold through touts and this is very disappointing and something we continue to work hard to address.”

Arsenal won the match 3-1 after falling behind to a long-range strike from Jhon Cordoba before bouncing back in the second half. Substitute Sead Kolasinac equalised before goals from Alexis Sanchez and Hector Bellerin gave the Londoners the win.

Cologne coach Peter Stoeger refused to be questioned on the actions of the club’s supporters, saying: “I have no comment about the fans.”

“I’m the coach, my job is the team, my job is football not the fans,” the Austrian added.

Do you prefer your favourite sports stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday? We have got you covered. Subscribe to The Field’s newsletter.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.