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Stewards could force fans to delete videos filmed at Euro 2024 stadiums

Officials could force fans to delete videos from their smartphones inside stadiums at Euro 2024, i can reveal.

Strict rules are in place at all 10 venues across Germany that ban supporters from posting images, videos and audio from inside the stadiums in public, including on the internet, radio, television or any other kind of media.

Supporters are allowed to keep the footage for private use, but if there is an indication that it has been posted publicly Uefa can take action.

i understands that even selfie sticks are on a list of items prohibited from stadiums, unless with prior authorisation, and fans face confiscation if found when entering venues.

Stadiums are now frequently full of fans filming action on the pitch on their phones, including pre-match ceremonies and during games, but Uefa wants to stamp out footage being posted on social media to protect rights holders who pay millions to record and disseminate the tournament action.

Uefa has also warned that it is prepared to take legal action against those who refuse to take down publicly posted footage.

A Uefa source believes the rules have been in place for other major competitions.

Other items banned from stadiums include balloons and umbrellas that do not collapse.

Fans, meanwhile, face being tested on-the-spot for alcohol and drugs if they appear intoxicated when attempting to entering stadiums.

England’s opening group game against Serbia on Sunday has been earmarked as one of the high-risk fixtures, due to both countries’ history of hooliganism and the thousands of fans attending.

Supporters are expected to turn up in huge numbers to the small town of Gelsenkirchen, which will host the match. As many as 500,000 fans from England are predicted to visit Germany during the tournament, more than twice as many as have tickets.

Random alcohol and drug tests will be performed, either by police or trained officials using breathalysers, on supporters who display behaviour problems or are clearly intoxicated, and entry can be refused.

The authorities have taken steps to try to prevent supporters from getting too drunk in Gelsenkirchen for England’s game against Serbia, including only serving low-alcohol beer at bars and pubs around the stadium and banning public drinking at the Heinrich Konig-Platz – the main plaza. The game kicks off at 9pm local time.

The English Football Association requested that alcohol not be sold in venues around the stadium, but the idea was rejected by local authorities.

The Metropolitan Police handed out nearly 200 football banning orders last season — a record high — forcing those prohibited to hand over passports during the European Championship to stop them from travelling.

More than 1,000 football banning orders are thought to have been handed out to English fans. It is hoped that it will prevent hardcore troublemakers from stirring up trouble at the tournament.

There are also expected to be “super-recognisers” present at the stadiums — specialist security officials who have an astonishing ability to remember faces, even years after seeing them, and identify any individuals on banned lists. They will be monitoring entry and exits from stadiums and footage from CCTV cameras.

There remain concerns that Euro 2024 will be targeted by cyber-attacks. This is the first tournament where fans can only use a dedicated Uefa Mobile Tickets app for entry into stadiums.

Tickets printed in advance, downloaded as PDFs or captured in a screenshot will not be accepted. That means a cyber-attack risks bringing down the digital system and preventing entry to games.

Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said recently: “The security of the European Championships is our highest priority. We are arming ourselves against all conceivable dangers with maximum deployment of the security authorities. Our focus ranges from the threat of Islamist terror, to hooligans and other violent criminals, to cyber-attacks and other dangers.”

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