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UEFA increases pitch-side security at Euro 2024

Featured image credit: Frank Schwichtenberg/CC BY-SA 4.0

UEFA has increased security measures at the ongoing European Championship in Germany to stop fans getting to players on the pitch.

The problem peaked when at least six supporters tried to take photos with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo during Portugal’s game with Turkey in Dortmund on Saturday. Although harmless, the incidents prompted concerns for player safety.

The governing body said that “additional safety measures will be deployed” in the 10 stadiums that are hosting matches, although no details were revealed of an updated plan to stop intruders, who face criminal prosecution.

“Any incursion onto the pitch constitutes a breach of the stadium rules and will result in expulsion from the stadium, a ban from all tournament matches and the filing of a formal criminal complaint for trespass,” read a UEFA statement.

Ronaldo’s team-mate Bernardo Silva said he is not worried about fans getting onto the pitch but described it simply as “annoying”.

Manager Roberto Martinez felt differently, however, after his team’s 3-0 win over Turkey at the Westfalenstadion.

“It is a concern,” Martinez said. “Today the intentions of the fans were good. We all love a fan who recognises the big stars and icons.

“But you [must] understand there’s a difficult moment if their intentions are wrong. We need to be careful. It shouldn’t happen – there’s a lot of security.

“We should give a message to the fans also because it is not the right way. It may get worse for the future. It’s not good to have the players so exposed on the pitch.”

A total of 26 matches have now been played at the tournament, taking it beyond the halfway point.

Portugal are one of four teams already through to the knockout stages alongside Spain, Germany, and Switzerland. The 2016 champions play their next game on July 1 in Frankfurt’s Waldstadion.

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