Arsenal have been forced to push their Europa League opening match kick-off back by an hour.
FC Koln have had a huge amount of supporters travel to London for today’s match-up, with as many as 20,000 believed to have descended on the capital city.
Unfortunately the travelling fans do not all have tickets for the previously scheduled 8:05 kick-off, with 2,900 being allocated to away fans, less than 20% of the believed crowd.
The official reports are that the game has been delayed ‘due to the interests of crowd safety’, although there isn’t claimed to be a serious problem around the stadium, despite police reporting that flares have been let off near the Emirates.
Cologne fans are believed to have been forced to wait outside the stadium later than the scheduled time, due to an unprecedented amount of fans trying to gain entry into the arena, and the extra time is in order to dispense the overgrown crowd and allow ticketed supporters to get to their seats in time for kick-off.
It remains to be seen how this will affect the players, but Arsenal will be keen to kick-off their European campaign with a win, and will be confident of doing so considering their opponents disastrous Bundesliga results so far this term.
Will the delay hamper the player’s preparation? Will the delay cause fans inside the stadium to play up?