Environmental activists held up a UEFA Champions League soccer match in Switzerland for several minutes Tuesday night by staging a protest against state-owned Russian oil giant Gazprom, which is one of the competition's sponsors.
The activists used cables to lower themselves from the roof of the St. Jakob-Park stadium in Basel, shortly after kickoff between Swiss side FC Basel and German club Schalke 04. They then unfurled a large Greenpeace-endorsed banner that read "Gazprom, don't foul the Arctic" and "Free the Arctic 30."
Environmental activists lowering protest banner during FC Basel v. Schalke 04 on Oct. 1 (YouTube / Albsig HD)
On Sept. 18, a team of 30 Greenpeace activists aboard a ship took part in a protest near a Gazprom drilling platform in the Arctic. They have been detained for two months by Russian authorities pending an investigation. The activists, who hail from 18 different nations, said they would appeal the arrests. (See 14 Greenpeace Activists Face Piracy Charges)Tuesday's match got back under way after five minutes when the demonstrators climbed back onto the roof. Schalke 04, who are backed by Gazprom, won the Group E encounter 1-0 courtesy of a scintillating strike by Julian Draxler.
UEFA will consider disciplining FC Basel for failing to prevent the protest but will wait for a report from the match delegate before making a decision, Britain's Sky Sports reported Wednesday.