Tartan Army suffer massive blow after huge Cologne fan camp cancelled

Scotland fans could find themselves counting the cost after Cologne city chiefs cancelled a huge fan camp where thousands of Tartan Army members were set to stay.

Germany will see an enormous invasion of the Scotland supporters for the Euro 2024 games against Germany in Munich, Switzerland in Cologne and Hungary in Stuttgart in June.

Many Scotland fans have opted to go to a campsite for the tournament due to the high prices of accommodation in Germany during the tournament.

But access to Cologne's Jugendpark, which was going to operate for three weeks during the Finals, has been cancelled due to flooding.

The city and surrounding areas have suffered from heavy rain spells in recent weeks, which caused the banks of the nearby River Rhine to rise to unsafe levels according to organisers.

The site is currently partially underwater.

The plug has been pulled on the entire camp leaving a huge number of Scotland fans scrambling for last minute accommodation.

Euro 2024 spokesman for Cologne, Gregor Timmer, said: “It is a great shame that we had to make this decision.

"We were all very much looking forward to this camp, which was particularly well received by Scottish and English football fans.

"However, the safety of everyone involved always comes first and we take concerns in this regard very seriously.

“It was important to us to make a decision as early as possible so that the fans affected have the opportunity to find alternatives.

"In addition, we are also averting a financial risk that the city of Cologne would otherwise have borne in full.

“A serious assessment of all these points unfortunately left no other decision than cancellation."

Fan camp organiser Dirk Stoeveken said: "The campsite is currently almost completely under water and, according to forecasts, the water level in the Rhine will continue to rise.

"This is having a huge impact on preparations and unfortunately does not allow for a reliable forecast regarding the timely construction and possible cost developments."

Scotland are due to play Switzerland at the RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne on June 24.

Average hotel accommodation in Cologne on that date remains affordable but fans looking for alternative places to stay can also look further afield thanks to excellent transport links.

Hamish Husband, spokesperson for the Association of Tartan Army Clubs, said: “Word has spread because loads of folk have rented motorhomes.

“The main thing about going to a competition is you meet fans from other countries.

It’s an ideal way for Scottish fans to mingle with fans from other countries including England which adds to the atmosphere of what will be a wonderful tournament.

“It’s a shame they won’t have that experience.

“That is the whole point of the tournament apart from Scotland winning, of course.”

He added: “Folk are staying out of Cologne and the transport system means folk can travel a distance rather than needing to stay in the centre of the city.

“People can take a tram ride or a train ride to Cologne.

“But it is disappointing.”

Camp organisers have said refunds will be promptly processed.

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