Euro 2024: All in the Game — potential weapons banned from stadiums … and bananas

Hellmann’s showcase sidelined Grealish; Albanian supporters to swamp Italian fans; blinkered Gazza; and more

The Allianz Arena in Munich where Germany will take on Scotland this evening in the Euro 2024 opener. Photograph: EPA

Uefa’s list of items that fans are prohibited from bringing into Euro 2024 stadiums is a lengthy one, but most of it is predictable enough. If, for example, you try to take in a weapon of any kind: fireworks, a motorcycle helmet, weighted-knuckle gloves, a ladder, stool, chair, suitcase, megaphone, air horn, pea whistle or a vuvuzela, then you won’t just be out of luck, you could be thrown out of the stadium and possibly even banned from the whole tournament.

But don’t try bringing in a banana either — they’re also on the banned list. Why? Because they’re food — and no food or liquids of any kind are allowed in. That, the rules state, includes fruit, with apples and oranges being specifically listed along with the poor old banana.

If you were a cynical type, you would conclude that this is all designed to force thirsty and peckish fans in to buying official Euro 2024 food and drink in the stadiums, and you could well be right. A small bottle of water will set you back €4.50 in Frankfurt, you’ll pay the same for one of those German sausage thingies in Düsseldorf, and a beer will cost you €5.20 in Stuttgart. Mind you, cheap enough by our own venue standards. What a banana will cost has yet to be reported.

Grealish burger, anyone?

Spare a thought for: Hellmann’s! When companies are deciding on which player should star in their advertising campaigns in advance of and during big tournaments, they naturally opt for people they’re certain will be included in their country’s squad. So, Hellmann’s chose their man and have bombarded every available platform with adverts featuring his face, even naming a burger after him: The Grealish Burger.


Delicious it sounds too, jalapeños among its toppings, “representing the winger’s dynamic flair”. But? You know yourself. Like the rest of us, Jack will be watching the tournament on the telly, Gareth Southgate leaving him out of his squad.

“When we come together as England we feel a real togetherness as a squad to represent our country,” said Jack at the unveiling of The Grealish Burger. “We feel this same connection with friends and family over the summer period when enjoying a good BBQ back at home.” Insert your gags here.

Albania faithful set for huge turnout

Based on reports on ticket sales for Saturday’s game at Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park, Italy are going to feel a touch outnumbered. The ground’s capacity has been reduced from its usual 81,000 to 62,000 for Euro 2024 and by all accounts, Albanians have bought 50,000 of those tickets.

Among that number, according to ESPN, will be more than 100 Albanian ministers and parliamentarians — 100! — and it would seem that Albanian prime minister Edi Rama doesn’t expect them back any time soon. So, he has suspended parliament for 10 days. Mind you, 10 days hint at a lack of optimism about the country’s chances of reaching the knock-out stages — they play their final group game in, well, 10 days.

Hey Gazza, what about Jude?

“I’d never heard of Bellingham, apart from the last two games. I was doing an interview and they said, ‘what do you think of Bellingham?’ I said, ‘who’s he?’ That was only a few weeks ago.” — Jude has made a big impression this season — well, on everyone except Paul Gascoigne.

Number of the day: 16

That’s how old Spain’s Lamine Yamal is, making him the baby of Euro 2024. If he plays he’ll become the youngest player in the history of the tournament.

Word of Mouth

“I have beetroot a lot. So, Cole gave me the nickname Beetroot. I needed one for him and he eats a lot of beans, which I think is normal for English people, so he is now Beans. I know people call him Cold Palmer, which is a correct nickname for him, but for me he is Beans.” — Serbian goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic on nickname-swapping with his Chelsea team-mate. As football writer John Brewin put it, “the hours must fly by”.

“With a heavy heart, but with common sense, he should have been left at home.” — Former Germany goalkeeper Uli Stein stopping just short of giving Manuel Neuer a vote of confidence.

“We’ve been looking like this for three days now and if we don’t get our cases it will be two weeks, at least, in our kilts. If they don’t turn up you will see us sitting in a bar with a big empty space around us due to the smell.” — Scotland supporter Billy Maxton telling the Daily Record about his and his pal Bob’s luggage going missing en route to Germany, leaving them facing an entire fortnight in their kilts.