UEFA increases security after pitch invaders target Cristiano Ronaldo

UEFA has confirmed it will increase security measures at Euro 2024 after Portugal’s victory over Turkey was marred by a number of pitch invasions from supporters.

A total of seven pitch invaders made it on to the field of play at BVB Stadion Dortmund during and after the game, with Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo repeatedly targeted.

Portugal head coach Roberto Martinez said afterwards the incidents were a “concern” and could pose a danger to players.

A UEFA spokesperson said: “Safety and security in the stadium, on the pitch and at team facilities are the ultimate priority for UEFA, DFB and EURO 2024 GmbH (the joint venture for the organisation of Euro 2024).

“To this end, additional safety measures will be deployed in the stadiums to further meet the requirements of the tournament, and to prevent such incidents. For reasons of security, we cannot comment further on specific measures.

“As a reminder, 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.”

The first pitch invader during Saturday’s game was a child, with Ronaldo appearing to welcome him and pose for a picture before a second, an adult, attempted to do the same before the Portugal forward removed his arm from around his neck.

More attempted to get on to the playing surface after the full-time whistle and striker Goncalo Ramos was caught up in attempts by security stewards to stop supporters from approaching Ronaldo.

“It was a concern,” Martinez said after the game. “Because today we were lucky that the intentions of the fans were good.

“You can understand it was a difficult moment — if those intentions are wrong, the players are in danger.

“We should give a message to the fans: it’s not the right way. You’re not going to get anything out of it, and what will happen is the (security) measures will get tighter.”



Ronaldo: The performance, the pitch invaders and a moment of Portuguese purity

(Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images)

First appeared on www.nytimes.com

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