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June 2021

Arsenal v Cologne: what did they think of the fiasco in Germany?

by Tony Attwood

This is a translation of what the newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitungde put on its website in the aftermath of the Cologne game

  • 15,000 Cologne fans travel to London for the first European League game for 25 years, but only a few have tickets.
  • But how big was the chaos?

Peter Stöger [head coach of 1. FC Köln] shook his head. No, he does not want to talk about the fans of the 1. FC Cologne now, the coach said at the end of the turbulent evening in London – not yet. It was too confusing to try and draw an immediate conclusion.

FC Köln’s first appearance on the international stage for 25 years had brought a 1: 3 defeat.  However, it wasn’t the match that hit the headlines that evening.

The match was delayed by an hour after chaos outside the stadium led to large delays at the entrances. The reasons for this were probably complex, and they were interpreted differently by the international press.

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About 15,000 FC fans had travelled to London and since noon had peacefully and loudly paraded through the capital. They drank, they sang, Englishmen waved to them from the balconies. In the evening, however, a small part of the crowd, through their misconduct, repeatedly cast the club in a bad light.  At first, about 50 supporters attempted to force an entrance to the stadium. Even before the whistle in the arena, there were still clashes and flares were ignited.

“The fans who behave like this harm the club,” said goalkeeper Timo Horn, “I hope that such things do not happen any more.” The club is now threatened with consequences. All of the above-mentioned incidents, however, were brought under control by police and stewards relatively quickly and so a real escalation did not take place.

An evening that is rated quite differently by different media

Nevertheless, this evening was described somewhat different in the English press.  While the tabloids reported the “night of shame”, and drew comparisons with the great Hooligan problems of the 1980s, the “quieter” newspapers had observed the events differently.

Thus, the Guardian wrote of an “intense football night,” and separated out the “minor violence outbreaks.”  The paper questioned the work of the security forces. These were “warned” that thousands of Cologne would come, “but not prepared”. Thus in the past week, even in a second league game, better arrangements had been made.


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A spokesman for FC Arsenal also confirmed that the “traffic jam” of people had been the main reason for the delay in the game, not the unrest in front of the stadium. The first action by supporters had begun the disorder, but the Arsenal’s own organization contributed to it: the British had provided only 2900 guest tickets, and also wanted to forbid entry to Cologne supporters with tickets for elsewhere in the stadium. Facing the masses from the Rhineland proved to be a time-consuming undertaking.

Despite the long waiting time and the poor information coming from the clubat this stage, the innumerable home and away fans, who had to wait a long time before the stadium, remained quiet. The London police finally told them that they had arrested five football fans in the course of the evening.

On Friday, Arsenal finally conceded the failure of their preparations for the European League game. “The security of the fans has always been our prime concerrn, and we have taken all measures to prevent tickets being given to visiting fans, but many membership cards were sold on the black market, which is very disappointing,” a spokesman said. He announced an “in-depth investigation” of the incidents. The Gunners were ready to learn from it for the future.

The Cologne fans who were present at the stadium were enthusiastic about the mood the day after and reported how Englishmen thanked them for the atmospheric football evening. Despite the defeat the Cologne supporters remained long after the final whistle in the arena and sang. Several times the stadium staff politely asked them to go before they finally left the ground.


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29 comments to Arsenal v Cologne: what did they think of the fiasco in Germany?

  • Lil

    There are always idiots who spoil things for the majority of fans. Though I have to admit that my German relations, many of whom are fans of Borussia Mönchengladbach, are saying that Koln have more idiots in their support than the average team.

  • Gord

    This report says 15k Germans, most English reports seem to say significantly more than that. Is there any way to know what the number is?

  • Gord


    I had seen that Innovation Lab stuff on the website quite a few days ago (1 week?). My feeling was what they were looking for was innovation in marketing.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    For the first Aguero’s goal against Watford scored for Man City from the offside position, can the match referee Anthony Taylor be blamed for given the goal as the linesman who was racing back to position did no flag? NO! Referee Anthony Taylor can’t be blamed but that inept linesman whose flag stayed down again when Jesus scored Man City’s 3rd. 2 offside goals have been allowed today for Man City by the Pgmol linesman. Will there be investigation by the FA later?

  • WalterBroeckx

    As we are talking about German football I was watching the match Stuttgart-Wolfsburg where Arsenal loan player Asamo came on after some 72 minutes and made a great impact by offering two golden chances on a silver plate for his teammates but both were missed. He sure looked impressive, fast, tricky. Would like to see him in an Arsenal shirt sometimes next season.

  • Nitram

    I just cant wait for the Liverpool annihilation in the media.

  • Menace

    Just watching Spuds v Swans & realised that Spuds have best chance of win with Dean the dancing Spud as ref. What could one wish for as a supporter of what we think of Tottenham.

  • Nitram


    Oh yes, Dancing Dean. I forgot what a fan of Spurs he was.

    It will be interesting to see how he can manufacture a Spurs win.

  • Menace

    Birmingham have just said goodbye to ‘arry.

  • Menace

    BT commentator called Dean, Mike Riley!!

  • MickHazel

    Spuds manage a home draw against Swansea.

  • Menace

    Walter – what a fantastic singer Dana Winner. Is she Belgian?

  • goonersince72

    Dancing Dean! Love it! Never forget that performance as long as I live. He was not censured in many way for that disgraceful celebration. But,the PGMO are unbiased, the FA is incorruptible, pigs can fly.

  • MickHazel

    A couple more offside goals for Man City against Watford.
    It really is incredible the amount of offside goals they get are allowed to get away with.

  • Pat

    There was a nice article by a German reporter from a Cologne supporter point of view in today’s Telegraph.

    He was explaining how it felt to have a chance to see your team in the Europa Cup for the first time in 25 years, how they were bound to try to come to the match, regretting that there was not a larger allocation, but saying that for all supporters this will have been the highlight of their supporting experience.

    If I understood correctly, one of the songs they sang again and again was just ‘Europa Cup, we’re back in the Europa Cup’ . At the end they just didn’t want to leave. I stayed to watch for a bit. It was pretty touching actually. And then they were finally asked in German to leave and they did. I walked back along Holloway Road with a massive, peaceful crowd of Cologne fans. Memorable!

  • JimB

    Menace and Nitram – same old chippy nonsense, I see.

    But what’s this….? Dean denying Spurs one clear penalty and one further very good shout. Thus leading to 2 dropped points. Surely not? So much for him being a Spurs fan (despite actually coming from the Wirral and supporting Tranmere) who would do anything – no matter how brazen – to help his team.

    Must be some mistake or some fiendishly machiavellian ploy because, as we all know, everything is a conspiracy against Arsenal, innit?

  • Gord


    I see you’ve been drinking too much JimB again.

  • para

    For Conspiricy factists;
    The “fiasco” at Arsenal-Koln was manipulated to show Arsenal fans how “real” fans behave and support their team, they go through fire for their team. 🙂

    I’ve come to the conclusion that all these “live” shows are fixed to produce the highest ratings:

    F.I Phone in talk shows: There has to be one or two(or even more) of these “callers” that are “actors” to start the ball rolling, then the followers(real fans) soon chip in.

    Same with comments; A few “actor” commentors to get the sheep woken and riled enough to start a mini war.

    TV talk shows;
    Topics are presented in a way to cause controversy and strife for “entertainent” value.

    It’s all manipulated for highest ratings i would think.

    I’m starting to understand what people mean when they say life is just an “illusion”. 🙂

    Anyway a last saying;
    Where there is smoke there is usually a fire(waiting to flame up).

  • para

    Oh yea, forgot the Video bloggers and channels;
    One or two “characters” to appear every week to create “exicitement” and controversy and gain “hits” for advertisement revenue.

    I have never seen an ad(use ad blockers) as i hate the whole concept of advertising. My concept is, if a product is brilliant, everyone soon gets to know about it, if it is crap, well the word spreads too.

    The world seems to have a mindset that is very “deceitfull” and “unnatural” to me.

    I must be from another planet with a different mindset type, stranded here in this einode of corruptness where there are little shoots of honesty that spring up only to be immediately trampled down and eaten by the hordes.

  • Gord

    Looking at referee related articles via Google News, there is the perception (in the medja) that England has had top referees.

    I do not think that this has ever been proved. There have been accolades for some English referees. But accolades rhymes with gatorade, and maybe the idiot medja people got confused?

    I think at best, England has been a consistent supplier of mediocre referees. And I think other countries are foolish to engage The FA in training referees. Because what they will get at best, is more mediocre referees.

  • Nitram


    As usual, you take ONE performance that may or may not have been balanced and use that as irrefutable proof that Dean is a fair ref, and conveniently ignore all those other terrible, biased performances and infer they are all part of my imagination and Untolds referee reviews are all obviously made up.

    You can believe what you like JimB but you know what a bunch of conspiracy theorist numpty’s we all are here on untold so why oh why do you keep coming here?

    I think those over at Le Grove talk out of there collective arse, so guess what?

    I don’t visit the site. Simple.

  • Al

    Know mixing sport and politics is not a good idea, but seeing how some people will ignore all of trump’s shenanigans and insist he’s the best thing since sliced bread helps me understand fans who ignore all the blatant and ridiculously obvious bias against us insisting Wenger is the problem.

    Used to search for answers how this could be possible but seeing how some steadfastly refuse to see how ill-equipped and unfit for the presidency trump is has made realise there’s a breed of individual out there who will only see what they want to see. As a result I don’t waste my time on certain types anymore; you CAN never change their views.

  • Raj The Gooner since '71

    It seems that the teams with the richest benefactors get all the ref’s and their assistant’s decisions go their way.
    Case Point Man. City vs Watford, 5 Major Decisions (Goal Scoring 3 ofsides for Man City, 1 stone wall penalty for Watford, not given, I dubious penalty for man City Given).
    FA don’t think billionaires who are willing to ignor FFP, can buy poorly paid refs (< £30,000 a year?) Spending Money to Buy a League Title!!!

    This reminds me of Anderlect Vs Notts. Forest Final, where dubios decisions were given later Confirmed that the Ref was bought by Anderlect. UFFA still should have give those Players the Award, winners Medal, and Brian Clough, his recognision as a Triple winner of the Champions Cup.
    Oh! Juventus!!

  • JimB


    I return to this site frequently for three reasons:

    1. Because the likes of you persist in gabbling on about Spurs in every other article / post.

    2. Because I find the level of crackpottery on here highly amusing.

    3. Because, out of a sense of civic duty, I feel bound to furnish you with an alternative, less paranoid version of events that doesn’t require the wearing of a tin foil hat.

    Mike Dean is a Tranmere supporting referee who once made the mistake of skipping girlishly and pumping his fist in a gesture of self congratulation because he had played a good and correct advantage (which happened to result in a Spurs goal). There have been plenty of occasions in the past – including yesterday – when Dean has been as bad a referee for Spurs as he has been on other occasions for other clubs. That is all.

  • MickHazel

    Just out of interest how do you account for Spurs not receiving any red cards for 85 consecutive matches?

  • Nitram

    1. Because the likes of you persist in gabbling on about Spurs in every other article / post

    Prove to me I refer to Spurs in ‘every other post’. That’s a blatant lie.

    So revealing yourself as a blatant liar rather undermines your other 2 pathetic excuses for visiting a site you clearly have no affinity with what so ever.

    Add to that you defend Dean, a ref that clearly referees us in a manner so inept as to border on cheating.

    Says it all really.

  • Nitram


    2. Because I find the level of crackpottery on here highly amusing.

    Hours and hours, years and years of analysis done by ex referees, current referees.

    It doesn’t say Arsenal are the only team to have bad decisions go against them.

    It doesn’t say we never get bad decisions go in our favour.

    But taken over 160 matches, and put alongside years of match analysis, carried out by Arsenal and none Arsenal affiliated assessors, it shows a very distinct trend to referee Arsenal with a very high negative bias.

    You calling all these different assessors, from a range of backgrounds, who are highly qualified to carry out these referee reviews crackpots, shows just how ignorant you are.

    I know who I think is the ‘crackpot’ round these parts, and it’s not Andrew and his colleagues.