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Met Police Arrest 53 After Attempts to Break into Wembley During Champions League Final

Met Arrest 53 Wembley Breach During Champions League Final

Police arrested 53 individuals after ticketless fans tried to force their way into Wembley Stadium during the Champions League final.

Among the arrests, five were for pitch invasion, while the rest were for attempting to breach security. The final, part of a major operation for the Metropolitan Police, saw over 2,000 officers on duty.

Earlier in the day, thousands attended a protest organized by far-right activist Tommy Robinson, alongside a counter-demonstration. Police reported 11 arrests or detentions related to these events.

After Real Madrid’s 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund, a Met spokesperson expressed confidence that most attempts to enter the stadium were thwarted. They noted that videos showing groups running into entrances did not necessarily indicate successful breaches, citing multiple layers of security beyond initial entrances.

The match had just begun when pitch invaders disrupted play, approaching some players. The Met spokesperson explained that major sporting events often attract attempts by those without tickets to bypass security, but a robust policing operation supported the Wembley security plan, maintaining overall security.

Earlier Protests and Demonstrations

Earlier on Saturday, thousands participated in a march and rally led by Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley Lennon. The rally began at Victoria at 13:00 BST and ended in Parliament Square around 18:00, featuring speeches by Robinson, Reclaim leader Laurence Fox, and others.

The Met noted on social media that various groups, including those linked to football violence, had gathered in central London. Later, two arrests were made near Parliament Square, one for being drunk and disorderly and assaulting an emergency worker.

Around 300 people attended a counter-protest organized by Stand Up To Racism in Whitehall, with speakers like Zak Cochrane addressing the crowd. The Met deployed significant numbers of officers to ensure the groups in Parliament Square and Whitehall did not clash. A smaller, unrelated demonstration by Youth Demand also took place, protesting the conflict in Gaza.

The Met reported that protesters attempted to block traffic on York Road, resulting in nine detentions for breaching Public Order Act conditions. Meanwhile, officers restricted a planned Gaza conflict protest in Finchley to prevent it from causing fear among Jewish residents.

Family Football Festival and Other Events

A four-day family football festival continued in various parts of central London, including Trafalgar Square, Regent Street, Somerset House, the South Bank, and Potters Field Park. Road closures and changes to bus routes and Cycleways were in effect, with the festival set to conclude on Sunday evening.

Public transport faced some disruptions due to the Champions League final, with part-closures and severe delays adding to congestion. Additionally, rehearsals for Trooping the Colour on June 15 for the King’s official birthday contributed to the busy weekend.

Engineering work further complicated travel, with no direct train services between central London and Luton Airport, and no Elizabeth Line services between Paddington and Abbey Wood, and between Whitechapel and Stratford on Saturday. Transport for London advised travelers to check their journey updates on its website.

Credit: BBC News

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