Tartan Army’s woes over Munich fan zone ‘mess’

Fan park in Munich

Fans queued for hours for food and drinks in Munich’s official fan zone (BBC)

Scotland fans in Munich for the opening match of Euro 2024 say they faced three-hour waits for a beer and broken toilets, as the city’s fan zone struggled to cope with the crowds.

An estimated 200,000 members of the Tartan Army traveled to Germany for Friday’s match, while around 25,000 people watched Scotland’s 5-1 defeat by the hosts at the Olympia Park.

One fan told the BBC that supporters experienced immediate problems buying food and drink and that some resorted to pushing down a barrier to urinate rather than wait an hour to use the men’s toilets.

The city of Munich, which organized the fan zone, has been contacted for comment.

It was a night of disappointment for Scotland fans after the biggest opening match win in the tournament’s 66-year history.

The thrashing saw Germany score within the first 10 minutes, a red card for Ryan Porteous and a final fifth goal in stoppage time after a brief moment of joy for Scotland when Antonio Rudiger scored a late own goal.

Days of lavish celebrations had followed when the Tartan Army arrived in Munich with great pomp and ceremony.

Fan Callum Napier told the BBC he regretted watching the match in the official fan zone.

Callum Napier Callum Napier

Callum Napier spoke to the BBC the morning after the painful defeat

The 24-year-old from Peebles arrived at Olympia Park several hours before kick-off at 8pm GMT without any problems, but said there were immediate problems with long queues for food and drinks.

Speaking about how some waited in line for three hours, he said: “It was a mess.

“It started as an orderly line and towards the front it was just a total flow.”

Calum said there were also waits of around an hour to use the men’s toilets and fans had resorted to knocking down a fence and chasing after them.

“To be honest, I wish I had seen the match in a pub,” he said.

Fan park in MunichFan park in Munich

Fans were confident the city would not run out of beer (BBC)

Several supporters chose to leave the park at half-time, hoping to watch the rest of the match in a city center cafe.

George Dall was one of them – he said: ‘It took me three hours to get a pint, which was soul-destroying.

“We couldn’t get one. We can’t get a pint in Munich, what’s going on?

Margaret McCrosson, who was also in the group, added: “We’re on our way out because we actually have sore backs.

“We’ll try to catch him in a bar so we can get a little refreshment.”

Olympia ParkOlympia Park

About 25,000 football fans watched the match in Olympiapark (BBC)

City officials had said there would be no public viewing of the match at Munich’s Marienplatz due to concerns about overcrowding, and urged fans to disperse elsewhere in the city.

Earlier on Friday, the city’s head of economic development, Peter Inselkammer, had provided reassurance after a bar in the main square ran out of beer on the first night of the party.

He told BBC News: “Yes, there is plenty of beer. Think of Oktoberfest – that’s seven million visitors with nine million liters of beer. So we’re used to guests who are very thirsty.”

Many Scotland fans will now head to Cologne for the side’s next match against Switzerland on Wednesday.