June 12, 2008 / 5:26 PM / 11 years ago

Soccer-Euro-Late reporter stages plane bomb hoax to reach game

ROME, June 12 (Reuters) - A German sports reporter who was late for his plane to cover the European Championships staged a bomb scare at Italy’s Verona airport in order to delay its take-off, police said on Thursday.

The 27-year-old reporter, who has not been identified, called police saying a bomb had been planted on the Air Dolomiti flight to Vienna on Wednesday, police in northern Verona told Reuters by telephone on Thursday.

The airport was closed for about two hours and two incoming flights were forced to land at another airport.

The reporter arrived at check-in just five minutes before the scheduled take off, shortly after the phone call announcing the bomb scare.

When told he was too late to check in he said he had heard the plane was still not ready for take off, even though the airport officials had still not made any announcement of any delay.

“He changed his version several times, first claiming he had arrived at the airport on time and then admitting he only arrived five minutes before take-off,” a police officer said.

The man’s mobile phone was linked to the call.

He was arrested and charged with causing an alarm and interrupting a public service.

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