Two spectators have been hospitalised after a Greenpeace paraglider hit spidercam wires and hurtled into the stands before crash landing on to the pitch of the Allianz Arena during Germany’s Euro 2020 game with France.
The pilot flew over the pitch just before kick-off in the Group F clash with ‘Kick out oil’ emblazoned on the yellow canopy of his parachute.
But the protester hit television cables above the pitch, knocking his powered parachute microlight off balance, causing him to hurtle towards the stands, clipping fans who were left with head injuries.
A part of the device also nearly crashed down onto France manager Didier Deschamps who sheltered in the dugout.
The pilot diverted the parachute towards the pitch, causing players to scarper for cover, where he landed inside Germany’s half moments before kickoff.
A Munich police spokesman told AFP that at least two people suffered head injuries and ‘both had to be taken to hospital, we don’t know yet how serious the injuries are’.
Spectators, officials and journalists take evasive action as the paraglider skims inches over their heads during his botched stunt at the Germany-France game in Munich last night
The activist skimmed over the heads of many in the crowd during his botched stunt. Part of his equipment was damaged on the approach and two people suffered head injuries
The paraglider is seen top left as people including members of the French squad cower as he whizzes over their heads
He nearly crashed into players lining up before kickoff and appeared to injure a photographer in the botched protest
France manager Didier Deschamps ran for cover in the dugout as a piece of debris fell just in front of him
The international coach ducked under the dugout during the botched protest moments ahead of kickoff
After nearly flying into the stands, putting fans at danger, he managed to divert his parachute and land on the pitch
He headed towards the pitch, causing the players to run to safety, as he landed heavily near the German stars
UEFA medics tend to a cameraman who was apparently injured by the Greenpeace paraglider in Munich last night
The activist, who had ‘Kick Out Oil’ emblazoned on his yellow parachute, glided into the stadium before losing control. He was hauled away by stewards after the stunt and later arrested
The police spokesman said the activist appears to have escaped injury, but ‘we are considering various criminal charges.
‘Munich police has zero understanding for political actions that put lives at risk’.
UEFA also slammed the botched stunt.
‘This inconsiderate act – which could have had very serious consequences for a huge number of people attending – caused injuries to several people attending the game who are now in hospital and law authorities will take the necessary action,’ European football’s governing body said in a statement.
‘The staging of the match was fortunately not impacted by such a reckless and dangerous action, but several people were injured nonetheless.’
The stunt was a protest against German car manufacturer Volkswagen, one of the sponsors of the European Championship, Greenpeace explained in a Twitter post.
He was then led away by security stewards and given medical attention on the side of the field
‘UEFA and its partners are fully committed to a sustainable Euro 2020 tournament and many initiatives have been implemented to offset carbon emissions,’ said UEFA.
Greenpeace said they regretted any harm caused.
‘This protest was never intended to disrupt the game or hurt people,’ read a Twitter post on Greenpeace’s official German account.
‘We hope that everyone is OK and that no one was seriously injured.
‘Greenpeace actions are always peaceful and non-violent. Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan.’
The parachutist attempted the daring stunt at the start of arguably the tournament’s most anticipated game so far
The parachutist came in at a steep angle and appeared to clip a cable when entering the stadium as he struggled to gain control .
After flying into the stands, putting fans at danger, the pilot managed to divert his parachute and land on the pitch where Germany players Antonio Rudiger and Robin Gosens were the first to approach him.
He was then led away by security stewards and given medical attention on the side of the field.
The parachutist came in at a steep angle and appeared to clip a cable when entering the stadium
The Greenpeace paraglider dropped a ball with a ‘kick out oil’ slogan on it onto the pitch before hitting the spidercam wires
The activist seemed unhurt and was quickly arrested.
A camera operator appeared to have been injured in the incident but walked away by himself with medics.
Greenpeace Germany later wrote on Twitter: ‘Hey @Volkswagen, time to kick out oil!
‘#Greenpeace activists protest against the games’ sponsor at the #FRAGER-match and demand: stop selling climate-damaging diesel and petrol cars! #EURO2020.’
The car manufacturer is one of the sponsors of the football tournament.
France went on to win the highly anticipated clash 1-0 thanks to an own-goal by German defender Mats Hummels.
Greenpeace Germany later claimed credit for the stunt and said it was aimed at Volkswagen, a tournament sponsor
Spidercam is an aerial TV camera that is attached to the top of the stands by four wires, allowing it to travel to any area above the pitch. The technology is seen here at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium in Feburary