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Scots take over Munich center ahead of Euro 2024 opening

June 14, 2024

Scottish fans began arriving in the southern German city, preparing for the opening game of this year's Euro tournament. Scotland's "Tartan Army" of traveling fans are in Bavaria for the opening game against Germany.

Scottish fans celebrate in the Marienplatz underground station hours before the game on June 14, 2024.
Munich's giant beer steins teamed up with bagpipes and kilts for the day in a sometimes boisterous combinationImage: Stefan Puchner/dpa/picture alliance

Scottish and German football fans flooded the central streets of Munich on Friday, ahead of the opening game in this year's Germany-hosted Euro Cup.

Scots have been flocking to the Bavarian capital for days, as the "Tartan Army" follows the Scottish team for its showdown with the German hosts at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

Scottish fans celebrate hours before the match on Marienplatz in front of Munich City Hall on June 14, 2024.
German authorities warned of overcrowding in Munich's central Marienplatz squareImage: Stefan Puchner/dpa/picture alliance

Scottish fans were seen wearing traditional kilts and playing bagpipes, a picture of Scottish nationalist symbols in the heart of Munich. 

Some 60,000 Scottish fans are expected in Munich around the opening fixture, according to local officials. 

Scotland fans gather at Marienplatz on June 13, 2024 in Munich, Germany.
Scottish fans have taken over several areas in central MunichImage: Lars Baron/Getty Images

"It feels as if most of the country are [here]," said Scotland captain Andy Robertson.

Scotland hasn't qualified for a European championship since Euro 1996 in England, and hasn't played in the competition outside the UK since 1992 in Sweden. 

German football fans were also excited over their country hosting the championship.

"I'm really happy it is getting started now and I am sure there will be a great atmosphere. I think there will only be a few times that Germany hosts a tournament like this, so we need to make the absolute most of it," said Benny Kuehnel, 32, a software developer from Stuttgart.

Overcrowded city center, halted trains

The city center eventually became so busy that Munich warned of overcrowding in the city center, where fan zones were buzzing with football enthusiasts, asking supporters to spread out a little.

How safe is Euro 2024? Germany's security on high alert

"The #Marienplatz is overcrowded. There will definitely be no public viewing there," Munich's city authorities said on social media. The central historic square also hosts the main station used to catch the underground to the stadium.

Munich's police temporarily stopped trains from halting at the Marienplatz underground station. They later announced that the tactic had managed to alleviate the overcrowding, and that the station was back in action.

Authorities also urged fans not to go to Olympiapark, adding that "the fan zone is also about to close" at that location.

A corner flag at Munich's Allianz Arena, painted with special logos fro the Euro 2024 tournament. Munich, Germany, June 14, 2024.
The opening game will take place at the Allianz Arena (or the Munich Football Arena as it's known for European competition) where Bayern Munich contest their home games later on FridayImage: Tom Weller/dpa/picture alliance

Berlin fan zone briefly closed due to 'suspicious object' 

Meanwhile, in the German capital Berlin, police temporarily closed off an area near the parliament building, where fans were expected to gather to watch the game, after identifying a "suspicious object." The suspected owner of the backpack in question was detained and checked.

"A suspicious object was found in the entrance area to the #FanZone on Scheidemannstrasse. This area is currently not accessible to fans. Our colleagues are checking the object," Berlin police posted on social media.

Police later added that the area had been reopened for fans after nothing was found.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser thanked the police for their swift action.

"If it turns out to be nothing, still it is better to clear it out one time too many than one too few," she said.

The words "Welcome to Berlin" can be read in the morning on a display in the fan zone (Platz der Republik) in front of the dome of the Reichstag.
The fan zone next to the German Reichstag parliament building was briefly closed offImage: Soeren Stache/dpa/picture-alliance

rmt/msh (AFP, dpa, Reuters)