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EURO 2024

Euro 24 scandal as YouTuber invades opening match as mascot

A young YouTuber managed to get passed UEFA security ahead of the clash between Germany and Scotland, raising concerns.

A young YouTuber managed to get passed UEFA security ahead of the clash between Germany and Scotland, raising concerns.
Marvin WildhageMarvin Wildhage/EFE

The fact that a YouTuber managed to bypass all security measures and access the pitch disguised as the Euro 2024 mascot during the opening match between Germany and Scotland has sparked a wave of criticism from the police and the German Interior Ministry towards UEFA, the event’s organizer.

Who was the mascot-invading YouTuber at Euro 2024?

As reported by Bild on Monday, 27-year-old YouTuber Marvin Wildhage, who has 873,000 subscribers, infiltrated the field of play using a fake accreditation and a China-made costume of Albärt, the Euro 2024 mascot. According to Wildhage himself, and as shown in a video on his channel, he arrived at the stadium in a van adorned with VW and German Football Association (DFB) logos, accompanied by two other men. Although their fake work IDs failed when scanned, a parking pass was enough to persuade security personnel to let them in.

Wildhage and one of his accomplices, also 27, gained access to the interior, while the third man, whose identity remains unknown, left the scene. He stayed in his costume among cameramen and volunteers directly in front of the fan block until a UEFA employee grew suspicious.

Wildhage banned from all Euro 24 venues

Shortly after, security personnel apprehended Wildhage and his companion inside the stadium. They were handed over to the police, who confiscated their fake credentials, recording equipment, and the mascot costume, according to a security forces spokesperson. The Munich public prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into document forgery, fraud, and trespassing.

Munich’s police department, internally denying any fault in the incident, referred responsibility to UEFA, stating, “Admission is the responsibility of the organizer.” An officer told Bild, “UEFA’s security service clearly failed here. This poses a security risk.”

UEFA responded through a spokesperson, saying they had “assessed the situation and taken the necessary organizational measures,” including banning the YouTuber and his two companions from all Euro 2024 venues.

Euro 2024 mascot Albart.
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Euro 2024 mascot Albart.John SibleyREUTERS

Rainer Wendt, the head of the German Police Union (DPolG), described the incident as “anything but funny,” adding, “There are some things that simply should not happen.” He stressed that the police fulfilled their duties at the stadiums and then transferred responsibility to UEFA.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann stated to Bild that “the incident must be promptly and thoroughly investigated,” emphasizing that access control is the “exclusive responsibility” of Euro 2024, the joint venture between DFB and UEFA organizing the tournament. He added that Bavarian police did not participate in admitting the YouTuber.

In his video, Wildhage reveals that UEFA warned him that if images of the incident were published, they would take appropriate action. This is not the first ‘invading’ stunt that he has undertaken as part of his notoriety plan, with critics arguing that he is wasting valuable police time and resources.

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