Arsenal’s Europa League opener against Cologne has been delayed by an hour amid crowd safety fears.
The game was expected to kick-off at 20:05 but will now commence at approximately 21:00 due to the sheer number of German fans in London this evening.
An army of Cologne fans, most without tickets, marched through the capital, chanting and letting off flares.
Arsenal had allocated their opponents just under 3,000 tickets for the game at the Emirates but it’s thought over 20,000 away fans made the journey.
The below tweets suggest that some Cologne fans have bought tickets for the home end and have been attempting to get into the away end…
A parade brought Britain’s busiest shopping street to a standstill as they paraded down Oxford Street earlier in the day.
Police officers had to stop all traffic going down the road as some of the German fans let off flares although thankfully no ‘significant disorder’ has been reported.
Many fans of the German club stopped to relieve themselves on a hoarding beside a London street.
A police statement read: “At around 15:00hrs on Thursday, September 14 a large group of football fans gathered in Oxford Street, W1.
“The group were at the location for about 30 minutes whilst they boarded public transport to travel to a football match this evening.
“They did throw bottles and let off flares, but there was no significant disorder, police were on scene and there have been no arrests.
“The group has now left the area.”
The bridge outside the Emirates has been closed to contain the Cologne fans with the kick-off delayed to ensure everyone’s safety.
Gunners supporters have not seen their side play in Europe’s secondary competition since they reached the UEFA Cup final in 2000.