The Greenpeace activist who failed to crash into the stands on Tuesday before the start of the France-Germany Euro match in Munich, in fact only wanted to “fly over” the stadium at the start, said the environmental organization.
The pilot of the ULM type machine “should have hovered over the stadium and dropped a latex balloon” with the message “Kick out Oil”, according to a spokesperson. “Technical difficulties forced him to land in the stadium”, according to a press release published on the association’s website. “We are sorry that the protest action did not go as planned” and “regret that people have been endangered and injured”, added the spokesperson.
Two people were injured, according to Munich police, who said Tuesday night to consider “several qualifications” criminal charges to prosecute the driver of the ULM. He is a 38-year-old man living in the Baden-Württemberg region in southwestern Germany. He came out of the landing unscathed before being arrested.
An investigation has been opened for “several offenses” falling under both criminal law and legislation on air transport, which strictly limits the possibilities of overflight, the police said in a statement.
UEFA condemned a “reckless act” and the German Federation (DFB) ruled the action “unacceptable”.
Greenpeace’s message was addressed to the car manufacturer Volkswagen, one of the main sponsors of the Euro organized this year in an unprecedented format with eleven host cities in eleven countries. “Our request: stop selling diesel and gasoline cars that are bad for the climate”, the organization tweeted shortly after the incident on its German account.
UEFA defended its environmental policy on Tuesday evening, saying “fully committed to making this Euro a sustainable tournament”.