‘We’re sorry, it went wrong’: Greenpeace apologises over botched parachute stunt at Euro 2020 match

Protest was aimed at tournament sponsor and German automaker Volkswagen

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 16 June 2021 01:22
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Greenpeace protester parachutes into stadium during Germany-France game at Euros

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Greenpeace has apologised after two people were injured in its botched parachute stunt at a Euro 2020 match.

Debris fell on to the pitch and into the stands when a parachutist flew into the wiring of an overhead camera providing pictures at the game between France and Germany in Munich.

“We sincerely apologise to the two people injured and to fans and players alike,” said Greenpeace in a statement on Tuesday night.

The environmental campaign group’s activist had a parachute with the slogan “KICK OUT OIL!” and “Greenpeace” written on it.

They admitted that a soft ball was meant to be dropped with a protest message aimed at German automaker Volkswagen on it but that something had gone wrong.

“The paraglider was supposed to go over the stadium and let a soft ball float down to the pitch with a protest message to EURO 2020 sponsor Volkswagen,” they added.

“We are calling on it to put an enddate to the production of climate damaging internal combustion engine cars and transition to EVs faster.

“Technical difficulties forced the pilot to an emergency landing in the stadium.”

Greenpeace then promised that it would “do everything we can to clear up the cause for this.”

UEFA called the incident “reckless and dangerous” and insisted that “law authorities will take the necessary action.”

“This inconsiderate act ... caused injuries to several people attending the game who are now in hospital,” UEFA said.

The protest was also condemned by the German national team, which lost to France 1-0.

“We as the German soccer federation condemn it of course, because it wasn’t just him, but others that he endangered and injured. It’s unacceptable from our point of view,” said German team spokesman Jens Grittner.

“And the incident is being checked by the police, the authorities here in Munich and at UEFA. But of course we also condemn what happened there. It could probably have turned out much worse.”

It is not the first time that Greenpeace has disrupted a football event.

In 2013, activists abseiled from the roof the stadium in Basel at a Champions League game to protest Russian oil company, which sponsored German club Shalke.

Basel was fined by UEFA for the security lapse and Greenpeace later donated money to a charity supported by the club.

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