Italy football fan who groped reporter live on TV gets 3-year stadium ban

Italy police identify man who harassed female television journalist.

The football fan who groped an Italian sports journalist as she reported live following a Serie A match in Italy has been banned from stadiums for three years after being identified by police.

The man, a 45-year-old restaurateur from Ancona named Andrea Serrani, is under investigation for sexual assault over his actions following the Empoli-Fiorentina match on Saturday evening.

Greta Beccaglia, the 27-year-old journalist he molested during a live broadcast for Toscana TV, filed an official complaint with the police over the case which made headline news in Italy after footage of the incident went viral.

Florence's police chief ordered a 'daspo' for Serrani, who has a partner and a young daughter, banning him from football games for 36 months.

"I did a stupid thing" - Serrani said on Italian radio show Zanzara - "they describe me as an abuser but I am not like that."

Apologising for his behaviour - which was universally condemned by Italian politicians - Serrani said he is "ready to meet" the journalist, adding: "I'm not a criminal."

On the accusation that he spat into his hand before he groped Beccaglia, the man denied this was the case, saying: "I was coughing, I didn't spit."

Serrani's lawyer described him as an "an entrepreneur, a very good person, a father of a family, who has always been respectful towards women."

However Beccaglia - who received a wave of solidarity from the public - made it known that she has no intention of withdrawing the police complaint against Serrani.

"If he apologises, that man does the bare minimum. But apologies in these cases are not enough" - she told state broadcaster RaiNews24 - "Justice must take its course and establish that that disgraceful gesture is wrong."

Beccaglia's colleague, veteran reporter Giorgio Micheletti, has been suspended from presenting the Toscana TV programme amid accusations that he downplayed the incident by advising her "not to get angry" over the incident.

Micheletti subsequently apologised for his "unfortunate words", telling FQ Magazine: "I told her not to be angry so as not to panic her."

The assault on Beccaglia occurred after a match whose players took to the field with red paint on their faces as part of a Serie A campaign called "Give violence against women the red card."

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