Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Euro 2024: Weather stoppage rules after Denmark and Germany players taken off field in thunderstorm

Michael Oliver halted the Euro 2024 last-16 clash between Germany and Denmark...

Play was stopped during the first half of the Euro 2024 round-of-16 game between Germany and Denmark after a thunderstorm struck the skies above Dortmund on Saturday night.

Referee Michael Oliver called time on proceedings 36 minutes into the game after a very loud crack of thunder that was audible to TV viewers watching at home, with the players first going to the dugouts for around five minutes before being instructed to head to the dressing rooms. The deadlock was yet to be broken on the game, which has a place in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals on the line. Germany had an early Nico Schlotterbeck goal disallowed early on for a Joshua Kimmich foul as the corner ball came into the box. Lightning had been forecast in Dortmund for later in the evening, but arrived earlier than expected bringing hail and heavy rain with it, leading Premier League referee Oliver to order the players off the field for safety reasons.

ITV referee analyst Christina Unkel explained that although there is no hard and fast regulation dictating when play can resume, as a rule of thumb, there is typically a 30-minute waiting period following the last lightning strike within a ten-mile radius of the stadium. That clock resets whenever there is a fresh strike within that radius. The ITV punditry team also expressed concerns about whether the surface would still be playable at the end of the stoppage, given the volume of rain and hail coming down.

Although most fans beat a hasty retreat up the stands or into the concourse to stay dry, some fans could be seen dancing in the ersatz waterfalls, determined not to let the weather kill their vibe.

As it was, the match restarted at 10pm local time (9pm in the UK), which is shortly before the second half would have been expected to kick off.

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