Greenpeace has apologised after two people were hospitalised with head injuries in its “reckless and dangerous” parachute stunt against a Euro 2020 sponsor last night.
Plastic and metal rained on to the pitch and into stands when the protester hit overhead spidercam TV cables as he paraglided through the open roof just before the France v Germany game kicked off in Munich.
He then lost control of the seated microlight with a rear fan propelling him under a yellow parachute at the Allianz Arena.
French manager Didier Deschamps was forced to take cover as the activist, who struggled to right himself, narrowly avoided landing on his dugout and a group of fans in the front rows.
The man, 38, landed heavily on grass and was helped to his feet by Germany’s Antonio Rudiger before security officials escorted him off the pitch.
After receiving a medical check-up at the side of the pitch, he was arrested and taken to the stadium’s detention centre.
At least two people were hospitalised, with one of them suffering facial fractures, German newspaper Bild reported.
A police spokesman couldn’t confirm the extent of the injuries to the spectators, though neither are believed to have needed surgery.
“We are considering various criminal charges,” the spokesman said. “Munich police zero tolerance for political actions that put lives at risk.”
Greenpeace said the protester, who bore the slogan “KICK OUT OIL!” on his parachute, was supposed to have gone over the stadium and dropped a soft ball on to the pitch in protest at German car maker Volkswagen, who are a Euro 2020 sponsor.
In a statement, environmental campaign group Greenpeace said: “We sincerely apologise to the two people injured and to fans and players alike.
“This protest was never intended to disrupt the game or hurt people.
“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.”
“Technical difficulties forced the pilot to an emergency landing in the stadium.”
Greenpeace called on VW to end “production of climate damaging internal combustion engine cars and transition to EVs faster”.
Football governing body 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 slammed by the German national team, which lost to France 1-0.
German team spokesman Jens Grittner said: “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.
“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.”
VW said: “Greenpeace put the life and limb of bystanders and fans of a football game at risk. That is not acceptable.”