Italian football fan allows female reporter on live TV, gets three-year stadium ban

A female journalist reporting from outside Stadium Carlo Castellani after the Tuscan derby in Serie A was ‘slapped on the back’ by an Italian fan on live television. After the video went viral and caused uproar, the Florence police commissioner issued an exclusion order against the fan, who banned him from stadiums for three years.

The incident took place after Fiorentina lost 2-1 to Empoli on Saturday. The suspect is under police investigation.

As fans flocked to the stadium, a supporter in a green jacket approached journalist Greta Beccaglia from behind before slapping her on the back and walking away. Beccaglia responded and said in Italian, “Sorry, you can not do this, I’m sorry.”

Shortly afterwards, another supporter stopped next to Beccaglia before swearing in the camera with a hand gesture. TV anchor Giorgio Micheletti has also been criticized for not handling the situation unreasonably and told Beccaglia not to cross over about the incident. Toscana TV said he took a ‘professional break’ from the show.

Andrea Serrani, the alleged man, apologized to the reporter on Italian radio program Zanzara, but denied sexism. “I did a stupid thing. They describe me as an abuser, but I’m not.” Serrani apologized for his behavior and called it “anger” for the loss of his side, saying he was “ready to meet” the journalist, adding: “I am not a criminal.”

“I coughed, I did not spit,” Serrani added after being questioned about his gesture.

Beccaglia, however, said an apology was not enough for the ‘shameful’ gesture. “If he apologizes, that man is doing the minimum. But excuses in these cases are not enough,” she told state broadcaster RaiNews24. “Justice must take its course and establish that scandalous gesture is wrong.”

The timing of the footage was particularly embarrassing and worrying for the Italian football authorities, as the league and players participated the same day in an awareness campaign on violence against women.

They had used the Tuscan derby match to raise awareness of their campaign ‘give violence against women the red card’. Over the weekend, Serie A players wore a red badge on their cheeks to promote the message and spread awareness of an anti-stalking hotline.

The Order of Tuscany Journalists condemned the incident and expressed full solidarity with Beccaglia.


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