Champions League pitch invader banned from games after '£250k Belarusian vlogger prank'

A man who tried to invade the pitch at the Champions League final at Wembley as part of a prank to win £250,000 from a Belarusian vlogger has been handed a three-year ban from UK football games.

Ukrainian Yevhenii Lubnenko, 29, was wearing a T-shirt with the vlogger's name on it when stewards stopped him from getting on the turf less than three minutes after kick-off on Saturday, Westminster Magistrates' Court heard on Monday.

The Uber driver - who was unable to give a UK address, saying "I do not remember, I am here for a few days" - pleaded guilty to going on to the playing area at a football match contrary to Section 4 of the Football (Offences) Act 1991.

Lubnenko, who had been in custody since Saturday's match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, said the challenge had been set by a vlogger reportedly based in Moscow.

The vlogger, Mellstroy, had offered the cash to people who invaded the pitch while wearing a T-shirt with his name on it.

Photos from the game captured two intruders with Mellstroy written in black and white across their chests running onto the field.

District Judge Michael Snow told Lubnenko: "The real villain is the Russian who is offering around $300,000 in the UK to do what you regard as a prank. I cannot punish him because he is not here.

"You recognise that this was a major sporting event for the UK. It was an important club football match in Europe that takes place in any year. The eyes of Europeans and many people around the world are on the match and they want to watch the match uninterrupted.

"The players taking part in that match are taking part in an important match in their career."

The judge told Lubnenko that "your behaviour, you being one of three [people], may have affected their concentration in what was one of the most important matches of their career".

Lubnenko was fined £1,000 which was cut to £660 as credit for his guilty plea, along with £85 costs and a £264 witness surcharge.

Judge Snow ruled the fine and costs were covered by his time in custody and Lubnenko was ordered to pay the surcharge.

Lubnenko, a Manchester City supporter, had told the court he had travelled to England to watch the match, and do some shopping or see the capital as he "had never been to London before".

But the judge told him: "I appreciate that you did not manage it [to get on to the pitch]. You did not really come to watch the match because you would be kicked out before the game got going, so you came here for the money."

Read more: Wembley security was an improvement - but lessons still to be learnt

The judge said the banning order means Lubnenko cannot attend any football matches in the UK for three years, warning him: "So don't go, even if it is to see Manchester City."

Lubnenko apologised "to everyone in the stadium and the players" saying he was "very sorry about what I tried to do".

He said the banning order was "fair" and that being questioned in a police station was one of the worst days of his life, adding: "That was big punishment for me."

Lubnenko, who arrived in England on Friday and was due to leave on Monday, is set to fly out of the country within days to see relatives in Germany.

The Metropolitan Police earlier said that two others - David Carneckij, 28, and a 16-year-old boy - have also been accused of going on the playing area at a football match contrary to Section 4 of the Football (Offences) Act 1991.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is set to appear at Highbury Corner Youth Court on 24 June.

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The force said inquiries continue into two other people arrested in connection with the incident.

Police made 56 arrests around the game - most of which were for attempts to breach security.