A paraglider from the environmental organization Greenpeace flew into the stadium at the German championship opening game. A spokesman for the environmental organization now says: The police were informed.
At yesterday’s game in Germany, a paraglider from the environmental organization Greenpeace caused a stir. The pilot fell in the middle of the field, injuring two people. According to a Greenpeace spokesman, the Munich police were informed about the protest action by a paramotor pilot before the European championship game of the German national soccer team.
Immediately before the action, officials inside and outside the stadium were given notice, Greenpeace spokesman Benjamin Stephan told the German Press Agency on Wednesday. A Munich police spokesman did not confirm this and said that his authority had no information about it.
The 38-year-old man from Pforzheim in Baden-Württemberg landed on the pitch in the Munich European Championship stadium shortly before the kick-off of the soccer game against France and injured two men who came to the hospital on the approach. The paramotor pilot was arrested and his aircraft was seized. Various offenses are being investigated against him.
Greenpeace spokesman Stephan named a defective hand throttle control unit on the engine that the pilot had carried on his back as the reason for the landing. According to the information, the 38-year-old had started on a meadow not far from the stadium and was in the air for about four to five minutes before landing in the stadium. The man is an activist of the environmental organization and a very experienced paramotor pilot.
Interior Minister Herrmann: “Express flight ban”
Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) had previously condemned the Greenpeace campaign. As he told the “Bild”, no sniper was used for one specific reason: because of the lettering on the parachute. “A total flight ban was expressly issued for the time of the European Championship over the Allianz Arena. I assume that Greenpeace knew that too,” said Herrmann.
“Because of the inscription ‘Greenpeace’, snipers did not intervene here. If the police had come to a different conclusion that it was a terrorist attack, then the plane might have had to pay for the action with his life.” said Herrmann.
In the situation, it would have been justified for the police to use firearms. It is therefore “completely irresponsible to carry out such an action,” said the interior minister. “I can only emphatically condemn Greenpeace for repeatedly launching such irresponsible actions. That has nothing to do with well-understood environmental protection.” It was decided on Tuesday evening that one of the helicopters positioned nearby would be directly in the air and would constantly fly around the stadium.
“Greenpeace” pilot threatened with consequences
The police headquarters in Munich announced that the arrested pilot was being investigated for “various offenses under the Criminal Code and the Aviation Act”. In the action of the 38-year-old, two men were injured in the head, according to police, who did not need emergency medical care, but were taken to hospital for further clarification.
Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder immediately announced the consequences for the activist. “That is dealt with precisely, these are clear violations,” said the CSU politician in the BR: “Something like that is not a trivial offense.” The Munich police headquarters also emphasized that “there is no understanding of any kind of irresponsible actions that pose a significant risk to human life.”
The plane landed on the turf of the arena with difficulty on Tuesday evening immediately before the game against France (0: 1) kicked off. Actually, the pilot “only” wanted to lower a yellow latex ball with the motto “Kick out Oil” printed on it onto the lawn. On the approach, however, his umbrella brushed against the cables of the camera hung over the field and came into a tailspin.
The protest directed against the European Championship sponsor VW, which was supposed to denounce the sale of cars with combustion engines, faded into the background due to the near tragedy. In addition, Greenpeace made itself vulnerable – which was immediately exploited by a prominent critic. “After yesterday’s incident with a serious threat to stadium visitors, it is time to review Greenpeace’s charitable status,” tweeted CDU politician Friedrich Merz.
Greenpeace apology falls on deaf ears
Greenpeace quickly asked for forgiveness. “We apologize that during today’s Greenpeace action people were endangered due to a technical malfunction,” the organization tweeted: “This protest was never intended to disrupt the game or injure people. We hope it will everyone is fine and no one has been seriously injured. Greenpeace actions are always peaceful and non-violent. Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan with this action. “
The Greenpeace apology fell on deaf ears with those involved. Jens Grittner, spokesman for the German Football Association (DFB), condemned the action after the game. “The person has not only endangered and injured himself and others,” said Grittner: “From our point of view that is unacceptable, the process is being examined by the authorities and the UEFA. That could have turned out much worse.” The European Football Union (Uefa) described the whole thing as “ruthless” and “dangerous”.
The paraglider was not the only “aerial acrobat” who was arrested. The police also took a 48-year-old resident in Nuremberg into custody because he had steered a drone in the “flight restriction area” around the arena. According to the police, “according to the current state of knowledge”, there is no connection with the Greenpeace campaign.