Euro fan zones shut to Scotland Tartan Army fans amid tornado warning

Tens of thousands of Scottish football fans are to travel to Cologne for Wednesday’s match

Fan zones have been shut and Tartan Army fans told to “get to safety” amid a tornado warning in Cologne a day before Scotland’s game against Switzerland on Wednesday.

The Deutscher Wetterdienst - the German equivalent of the Met Office - said there would be “severe thunderstorms” in the area from Tuesday afternoon, with a weather warning in place until 2am on Wednesday. The organisation also said there could be “hurricane gusts” and added it could not rule out the risk of “isolated tornados”.

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Outdoor pre-match events have been cancelled, including a sing-along with local band Die Hohner, which was due to perform its own version of Loch Lomond at the Tanzbrunnen fan zone, which was due to host 12,000 supporters. Another fan zone was set to welcome up to 7,500 people in the Cologne district of Heumarkt. A friendly football match between the Tartan Army Select fans team and their Swiss counterparts on Wednesday at 1pm is also in doubt. Organisers hope the weather conditions will not affect a fan march to the Euro stadium on Wednesday afternoon, which was expected to attract up to 30,000 Scottish fans.

The Scotland Supporters fan group issued a warning to those who have travelled to Cologne, telling fans: “Due to a storm warning, the UEFA Euro 24 festival venues are closed today.” A statement added: “Storm alert. Get to safety!”

Graeme Shinnie, an administrator for the Tartan Army Facebook group, said fans would be forced to take shelter indoors to watch other matches being played on Tuesday.

He said: “It’s a real shame for those who are in Cologne today as there were a couple of things planned. There will be plenty of places to go and watch the other Euros games, but it is a real shame we won’t be able to make use of Cologne’s outdoor spaces when the weather arrives.”

Mr Shinnie added: “The German equivalent of the Met Office have the storm warning in place until 2am tomorrow, so hopefully the worst will have passed and everything can open again and we get good marching conditions.” The Deutscher Wetterdienst said: “From Tuesday afternoon there will be severe thunderstorms with [extreme] storm potential. Supercells can form, which are accompanied by severe squalls, sometimes hurricane gusts between 90 and 120km per hour and larger hail between 3-5cm.”

The statement added: “Heavy rain with amounts of around 30 litres per square metre is also possible locally within a short period of time. Isolated tornados cannot be ruled out, especially in the west.”

Supporters told of three-hour queues to buy beer and food, as well as broken toilets as the fan sites were overwhelmed with supporters.

An estimated 200,000 Scotland fans travelled to Germany for the opening match on Friday, with many of them are expected to continue on to Cologne for the second Scotland game.

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