More than 50 arrests made at 2024 UEFA Champions League Final

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Stewards subdue a pitch invader at Wembley Stadium during the UEFA Champions League Final on June 1, 2024. (Carl Recine/Reuters)

Over 50 arrests were made last Saturday at the 2024 UEFA Champions League Final after multiple individuals invaded the pitch during the first few minutes of the game, with many others making unsuccessful “attempts to breach security.” The spectators that did invade the pitch appeared to be attempting to seek photographs with players on Real Madrid, including Vinicius Junior and Jude Bellingham, but were escorted off the playing field by security following a two-minute disruption.

According to a spokesperson at Wembley Stadium, “It is illegal to enter the field of play at Wembley Stadium, and we strongly condemn the actions of those who interrupted the UEFA Champions League Final shortly after kick-off.” The spokesperson also added that “all of the [responsible] individuals have now been arrested,” although the majority of those who attempted to breach security were apprehended prior to causing a potential disruption.

Match security has been problematic for previous editions of the event, with the Euro 2020 final culminating in drunken mobs clashing with riot police, and the 2022 edition ending in dozens of arrests and reports of French police using tear gas and pepper spray to subdue Liverpool fans. A formal inquiry was commissioned by UEFA following the event in 2022, and subsequent years saw a heightened security presence around host stadiums, along with other preventative measures including 3.6m fencing and gated portals to deter intruding spectators.

Some individuals who invaded the pitch on Saturday were seen wearing a T-shirt reading “Mellstroy,” seemingly referencing controversial Belarusian blogger Andrey Burim’s online name. Burim reportedly made a video in February claiming that he would give 30,000,000 rubles to anyone who ran onto the field during the final with the “Mellstroy” logo on their body. Burim has not yet been charged in connection with the disruption during the final, but has been previously convicted of physical abuse after attacking a model during a livestream.

The three individuals charged with pitch invasion have their court dates set for later this summer. Yevhenii Lubnenko, David Carneckij, and an unnamed 16-year-old will appear in court on July 10 and June 24, respectively, having been charged with breaching Section 4 of the Football (Offences) act of 1991.

Carlo Ancelotti and a resilient Real Madrid rode their luck against Borussia Dortmund, dodging multiple attempts from Karim Adeyemi and Nicholas Fullkrug to score during a first half that was dominated by the German powerhouse. Real Madrid eventually won the game 2-0, following two goals in the second half from Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior, respectively, to win the title and their fifteenth Champions League crown.

Written by Saachi Kandula

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