Why the Champions League final was halted by intruders

The Champions League final was stopped as three pitch invaders stormed the pitch
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Saturday night's Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid was abruptly halted in the opening minutes due to a pitch invasion. A social media influencer known as Mellstroy is said to have offered his followers a cash prize to run onto the pitch at Wembley Stadium.

Several individuals in white t-shirts emblazoned with 'MELLSTROY' on the front, stormed the European stage shortly after kick-off, with a reported $350,000 up for grabs from the internet star for the first person to make it onto the Wembley turf. Mellstroy broadcasts on a streaming platform called Kick, where he boasts 470,700 followers.

The 25 year old also commands an audience of three million followers on Instagram and 1.8 million followers on TikTok. Born in Gomel, Belarus, in 1998, he began his streaming career in 2015, playing Minecraft, CS:GO, Dota 2, and other popular games on YouTube.

Mellstroy, whose real name is Andrey Burim, eventually decided to start streaming his day-to-day activities and betting on Kick. It remains unclear whether the reports of a $350,000 prize are genuine.

However, the appearance of multiple pitch invaders sporting the streamer's name on their clothing so soon after kick-off would suggest a degree of premeditation on the part of the pitch invaders. After a brief pause in play, the pitch was cleared and the Champions League final resumed, reports Football London.

A pitch invader, wearing a tshirt which reads "MELLSTROY", is seen during the UEFA Champions League 2023/24 Final match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid CF at Wembley Stadium on June 01, 2024
A pitch invader, wearing a t-shirt which reads 'MELLSTROY', is seen during the UEFA Champions League final -Credit:Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

The first invader ran up to Jude Bellingham and took the opportunity to take a picture before two more followed. A fourth invader attempted to follow but was stopped.

Dortmund midfielder Marcel Sabitzer accosted one of the invaders himself, as reported by TNT Sports commentator Darren Fletcher. The game did eventually continue after the stewards got the invaders off the pitch.