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Climate activist ties himself to goal post in protest at Belgian football cup final

Goal protester football match Belga
13:37 19/04/2022

Climate activist Wouter Mouton stormed a football pitch and tied himself to a goal post at Monday’s cup final between Anderlecht and AA Gent at the King Baudouin stadium in Heysel. 

Mouton sported a tee-shirt that read “no soccer on a dead planet” and “won't our children die because of the climate crisis?” Bruzz reports. The protest briefly stopped play during the cup decider. 

A firefighter cut the zip ties and security led Mouton away, where he was briefly arrested before being released later that evening.

It wasn’t his first time staging a dramatic action at a sporting event in order to bring attention to the issue of climate change. Mouton has already been arrested nine times for climate actions, and just 15 days ago climbed the fence near the end of the Tour de Flanders cycle race and ran towards the finish line in a shirt brandishing the slogan “climate justice now.”

Pitch stormers chaining themselves to goal posts seem to be setting a new trend in the world of football, De Standaard reports. A week ago, the Bundesliga match between Frankfurt and Freiburg was stopped for the same reason, and last month there were several similar incidents in the English Premier League.

As for Mouton, he says he has no intention of stopping and has plans for more actions in the near future. 

“It's a shame that I have to do it this way, but I feel like I have no other choice because it's so urgent and threatening,” Mouton said, referring to the climate crisis.

“For me, the action was successful, I was on screen for a few seconds and commentator Filip Joos even said something about it. In my view, my actions are justified for the climate crisis. Companies and governments are failing enormously.”

Mouton says he has already carried out 300 similar protests. “In the beginning, I was concerned about what people thought of me. But now, I can handle both positive and negative reactions.”

Photo : © Belga/Bruno Fahy

Written by Helen Lyons