Cologne to appeal UEFA sanctions over crowd trouble against Arsenal

Cologne have announced that they will appeal the UEFA punishments imposed on them for fan misconduct in the Europa League match at Arsenal in September.

UEFA hit the Bundesliga side last week with a €60,000 fine, a two-match travel ban, suspended for two years, and were told to reimburse Arsenal for damage caused after being charged with crowd disturbances, acts of damage and setting off fireworks.

The match on Sept. 14, which Arsenal won 3-1, had to be delayed by an hour as thousands of Cologne supporters amassed outside the stadium, preventing home supporters from getting to the turnstiles.

Around 15,000 Cologne fans, wanting to see their team play their first European match in 25 years, got into the stadium, the majority of them with tickets allocated for Arsenal supporters.

In a statement released on the club's official website, Cologne said they "plan to appeal to UEFA in due time against this verdict."

Cologne director Alexander Wehrle said in the statement: "Even after a detailed analysis of the verdict, it is incomprehensible to us that the misconduct of a small minority of fans should lead to such a drastic punishment against the club."

The statement added: "In addition, it is obvious from the Cologne point of view that parts of the problems surrounding the entry were caused by poor planning of the London officials."

Arsenal had faced one charge over a blocked stairway in the away supporters' section, but UEFA decided not to open disciplinary proceedings against them.