Germany ensures that the EM 2024 mascot wears trousers


GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — The mascot of next year’s European Championships in Germany will be a teddy bear — and this time he won’t be naked from the waist down.

The mascot made its first appearance on Tuesday morning when it surprised children at a primary school in Gelsenkirchen, where it would later appear again ahead of the team’s friendly against Colombia.

The big-headed, wide-eyed mascot wears shorts – unlike the 2006 World Cup mascot, a lion named “Goleo”, who was widely ridiculed for not wearing pants.

The as yet unnamed teddy bear also has a football shirt, socks and boots. Fans should help with the name by choosing between Albärt, Bärnardo, Bärnheart or Herzi von Bär. “Bär” is the German word for bear.

“As a parent, I know how important it is to stimulate children’s imaginations,” said Philipp Lahm, Tournament Director of Euro 2024. “With the launch of our tournament mascot, we hope to create a fun and likeable character that will inspire them to having fun playing football.”

The mascot is expected to appear in host cities over the next year. Germany will host the tournament from June 14 to July 14, 2024.

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