Police hold Greenpeace activist after parachute stunt

Police in Munich are investigating a Greenpeace activist for “various offences” after he parachuted into the Allianz Arena before France’s win over Germany at Euro 2020.

A 38-year-old man from Baden-Württemberg state has been arrested after the parachutist got tangled in wires carrying an overhead camera, before landing heavily on the pitch among the players before kick-off.

Police confirmed two males were injured as a result of the incident during the landing approach as debris fell onto the pitch and into the stands.

European football’s governing body said on Tuesday that “law authorities will take the necessary action” for what it called a “reckless and dangerous” act.

The activist, who did not suffer any injuries and was escorted away by security, had the words “Kick out oil Greenpeace” written on his parachute.

Greenpeace’s German Twitter account confirmed that the stunt was a protest against tournament sponsor Volkswagen, demanding an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars.

The paraglider was led off the pitch by security ahead of France and Germany's Euro 2020 clash (AP)
Image: The paraglider was led off the pitch by security ahead of France and Germany’s Euro 2020 clash

Munich police said in a statement: “In this connection, investigations are now being conducted for various offences under the Criminal Code and the Air Traffic Act, among others.

“The Munich Police Department emphasises that it has no understanding whatsoever for such irresponsible actions, in which a considerable endangerment of human life is accepted.”

France head coach Didier Deschamps was seen ducking out of the way of a large piece of equipment near the dugout.

A Greenpeace protester paraglides onto the pitch before France's Euro 2020 match with Germany (AP) 1:02
Didier Deschamps said the incident caused by a protestor who parachuted into Munich’s Allianz Arena before France played against Germany in Euro 2020 on Tuesday could have led to a tragedy. ©UEFA 2021

Speaking after the game, Deschamps said: “Listen I thought it was something planned in advance. Yes, we were close to a tragedy.

“On the bench with Guy (assistant coach Guy Stephan) we tried to take refuge. I have a little bump because I hit the cover of the bench. Yes, we were close, it could have been a tragedy once again.

“So, what can I say? It shouldn’t have happened. But at the same time, when you witness events like this… it will become literature because there were no consequences.”

UEFA said in a statement: “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.”

France won the game 1-0 after Germany defender Mats Hummels scored an own goal in the first half.

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