Munich – At least two people were hospitalised Tuesday after a Greenpeace activist crash-landed on the pitch before the Germany-France match at Euro 2020 when his powered parachute microlight struck spidercam cables at Munich’s Allianz Arena.
The pilot flew over the pitch just before kick-off in the Group F clash with “Kick out oil” written on the canopy of his parachute.
However, when the pilot hit television cables above the pitch, it knocked his microlight off balance and he landed on the turf after clipping one of the stands, where the casualties happened.
The activist was arrested soon after landing.
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”.
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.
“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.” — AFP