Two people injured as protester parachutes into stadium before Germany v France match in Munich
Police in Munich are investigating a Greenpeace activist for “several offences” after the 38-year-old parachuted into the stadium before Germany’s Euro 2020 match against France, injuring two people.
The stunt, which Greenpeace said did not go as planned, was captured on camera shortly before the game kicked off on Tuesday evening. The activist was seen flying over the stadium in Munich strapped to a yellow parachute microlight aircraft before apparently getting tangled in overhead camera wires.
He was thrown off course and narrowly avoided crashing into the stands before landing on the pitch among the players.
His parachute had “kick out oil!” written on it.
The pilot, later identified as a 38-year-old man from Baden-Württemberg state, was detained by police.
Police said two men were injured during the man’s attempts to land. Both suffered head injuries and were taken to hospital. There was no immediate update on their condition on Wednesday morning, a Munich police spokesperson told AFP.
The activist himself was not hurt.
“The aircraft was seized,” Munich police said. “Investigations are now being conducted into several offences under the criminal code and the air traffic act, among others.”
Greenpeace was quick to apologise for the protest gone awry, saying the aim had been for the activist to drop a latex ball with a protest message on to the pitch.
“Technical difficulties forced the pilot to land inside the stadium. We deeply regret that this put people in danger and caused injuries,” the environmental campaign group said.
Greenpeace said on Twitter that the protest action was aimed at urging the carmaker Volkswagen, a Euro 2020 sponsor, to stop selling diesel and petrol cars
The botched protest drew condemnation. Munich police said they had “no understanding whatsoever for such irresponsible actions”. Uefa called it “a reckless and dangerous action” that “could have had very serious consequences for a huge number of people attending”.
The Bavarian prime minister, Markus Söder, whose state was hosting the match, told local radio the authorities were taking the matter seriously. “This was not a trivial offence,” he said.