UEFA Euro 2024: Man who climbed arena during game a would-be photographer, police say

DORTMUND, Germany –

German police said Sunday they believe a man who scaled the roof of the stadium as Germany played Denmark at Euro 2024 was a would-be photographer and they have no evidence he intended to hurt anyone.

Video shown by public broadcaster WDR appeared to show the man being detained among the catwalks and beams on the underside of the Westfalenstadion roof following the last-16 game, which Germany won 2-0.

It was the latest security breach inside a stadium at a tournament where European soccer body UEFA has not addressed issues about the tournament at any public forum this month.

Dortmund police said the man was identified as a 21-year-old from the nearby city of Osnabrueck and that he is currently under investigation for alleged trespassing. Police added that they “are currently ruling out a political motivation.”

The man was carrying camera equipment in a rucksack and no dangerous objects, police said, adding he allegedly said in questioning that he wanted to take “good photos.”

“There is currently no evidence that the man intended to endanger visitors to the stadium with his behaviour,” police said in an earlier statement overnight.

Police said the man had first been spotted around half time in the game, which was delayed by a thunderstorm.

Around that time, referee Michael Oliver summoned both team captains and appeared to gesture up toward the roof. The presence of the climber was not obvious to many fans at the time. No announcement was made to the crowd.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the man was able to enter the stadium. Fans are generally not allowed to bring large rucksacks.

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In previous security lapses at Euro 2024, multiple fans were able to approach Portugal’s star player Cristiano Ronaldo on the field seeking selfies. At Portugal’s next game, after UEFA pledged to tighten security, a person jumped from the crowd and nearly collided with Ronaldo.

At the opening ceremony on June 14 a German YouTuber filmed and later published a video showing how he entered the Munich stadium with fake credentials and made it onto the field while disguised in a mascot costume he bought online.

On Sunday, UEFA praised the “very professional action by police and special forces, and the excellent cooperation” with tournament officials to resolve the latest incident safely.

UEFA promised another review of security in the 10 cities hosting games though without specifying details.

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