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29 Nov, 2021 16:57

‘He slaps me on the butt’: Female reporter involves police after stadium ‘groping’ (VIDEO)

‘He slaps me on the butt’: Female reporter involves police after stadium ‘groping’ (VIDEO)

A female football reporter has voiced her shock and disgust as police investigate an incident in which she was slapped on the bottom live on air and allegedly groped by fans while reporting after a top-flight game in Italy.

Greta Beccaglia was speaking to Fiorentina fans after two late Empoli strikes snatched an unlikely Serie A win for the hosts following a goal by Dusan Vlahovic that looked to have earned all three points for the visitors from Florence.

The Toscana TV reporter has claimed that she was also touched on her "private parts", revealed that she suffered a sleepless night and said she will be giving her account to police about what many are calling sexual harassment.

One fan was captured on the broadcast approaching Beccaglia and slapping her on the backside, to which she responded, via translation: "Sorry, you can’t do this; I’m sorry."

Television colleague Giorgio Micheletti immediately expressed solidarity, saying: "Don’t take it."

Shortly afterwards, another fan approached Beccaglia and made an offensive gesture towards the camera with his hand.

Micheletti appeared to tell Beccaglia to carry on, but she has explained that he could not have appreciated the scale of the situation before her report ended.

Italian media reports that local police have identified the man in question and are awaiting a formal complaint being made by Beccaglia before proceeding further.

The 27-year-old admitted she was shaken and angry about what happened to her. “I had a [lot of] adrenaline – such a thing has never happened to me,” she told Il Messaggero.

“I am disheartened but, if possible, I am even more determined in wanting to be a journalist. And I'll go back outside of the stadium, even if they frightened me by the indifference that surrounded me when I was attacked.

"Here comes this guy, who first spits on the palm of his hand and then slaps me on the butt very hard.

"I am a polite person; I tell him that such a gesture is not admissible. The man does not even turn and disappear.

"The [situation somehow] gets even worse, with another fan who touches my private parts."

The incident, which was seen by countless viewers after the match, carried unfortunate timing on a day when Italian football chiefs had used the derby fixture to raise awareness as part of a campaign against violence towards women.

Players and officials in Serie A wore symbolic red streaks across their cheeks over the weekend games as part of the movement, which is organized by Italian humanitarian organisation WeWorld Onlus.

Speaking on DAZN, Diletta Leotta, an Italian football reporter who has more than eight million Instagram followers, addressed the escalating scandal ahead of Napoli's 4-0 win at home to Lazio.

"On the day when violence against women is remembered, I want to express my solidarity with the journalist who was the victim of intolerable and reprehensible gestures," said Leotta, suggesting that "we all" are "tired" of similar incidents. "Enough of violence against women."

Il Messaggero reported that a respondent had contacted Beccaglia to say sorry to her on her Facebook page, telling her: “I humbly apologize in public for harassing you in that way.

"Please withdraw the complaint, as you can see [I’ve revealed my identity]."

Beccaglia is said to have hit back: “I don't care, I haven't read anything. Tomorrow I [will] present the complaint [to the police].

"What happened to me is unacceptable and must not be repeated. In my case, the harassment was filmed live because I was there at work.

"Unfortunately, however, as we know, many women are victims of attacks with the cameras off, without anyone knowing. This must never happen again.”

“I didn't expect so much nastiness," she added to the outlet. "The fans were all around me, they verbally attacked me: they told me [about] how I dressed, saying ‘with those tight jeans you look like Diletta Leotta.’ It is not enough to insult one woman if it can be done with two."

The Order of Journalists of Tuscany vigorously condemned the incident and expressed their support for Beccaglia, describing the act against her as "molestation".

"Those in the studio, instead of condemning the gesture and the molester, invited the colleague to ‘not take it’,” they said, again via translation.

"The Order reiterates that the time has come to stop minimizing and remember that violence against women is, above all, a cultural and social problem."

Serie A chiefs said in their own brief statement: "Violence is expressed in many forms. We condemn them all, today and forever. Solidarity with Greta Beccaglia."

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