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Outrage in Italy after female TV reporter is 'molested' live on air by football fan

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A female Italian TV reporter was slapped on the buttocks live on air by football fans in the aftermath of a game played this weekend to raise awareness of violence against women. 

Greta Baccaglia, a journalist with Italy’s Toscana TV, was reporting live from outside the Carlo Castellani stadium in Empoli where Fiorentina lost 2-1 to the hosts in a Serie A clash. 

Beccaglia was speaking to despondent Fiorentina fans following the game when two men approached her from behind.

One of the men appeared to spit in his hand, before slapped the journalist’s buttocks in a shocking display of sexual harassment live on air. 

A visibly disgusted Beccaglia turned on the men, wagging her finger before telling them: ‘Sorry, you can’t do this, I’m sorry.’ 

But the men quickly made their exit before another fan jumped into shot and swore at the camera. 

The incident came in the immediate aftermath of the game in which players wore a red mark on their cheeks during the game in support of the ‘give violence against women the red card’ campaign, on the same week of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Nov. 25). 

Beccaglia was speaking to despondent Fiorentina fans following the game when two men approached her from behind

Beccaglia was speaking to despondent Fiorentina fans following the game when two men approached her from behind

One of the men slapped her buttocks in a shocking display of sexual harassment live on air moments after he was caught on camera appearing to spit in his hand

One of the men slapped her buttocks in a shocking display of sexual harassment live on air moments after he was caught on camera appearing to spit in his hand

Greta Baccaglia is a journalist with Italy's Toscana TV and regularly covers the top flight Italian football league Serie A.

She was molested live on air by a fan on Saturday as she reported live from Carlo Castellani stadium in Empoli.

Greta Baccaglia is a journalist with Italy’s Toscana TV and regularly covers the top flight Italian football league Serie A. She was molested live on air by a fan on Saturday as she reported live from Carlo Castellani stadium in Empoli.

A visibly stunned and disgusted Beccaglia turns to tell them off, but she is told, 'don't get angry, don't get upset' by her male co-host

A visibly stunned and disgusted Beccaglia turns to tell them off, but she is told, ‘don’t get angry, don’t get upset’ by her male co-host

Shortly after the incident, Beccaglia attempts to regain her composure before another fan jumps into shot and swears at the camera

Shortly after the incident, Beccaglia attempts to regain her composure before another fan jumps into shot and swears at the camera

The Order of Journalists of Tuscany denounced the incident as a ‘very serious episode of harassment’, and railed against the deplorable behaviour of the fans which took place ‘on a day when the greatest attention was paid to the fight against violence against women.’ 

The order went on to publicly express their solidarity with Beccaglia, who herself said of the incident: ‘What happened to me is unacceptable and must not be repeated. 

‘It was filmed live on TV because I was at work, but unfortunately, as we know, such harassment happens to other women with the cameras off, that is, without anyone knowing. It cannot and must not happen,’ she told Italian newspaper Corriere Fiorentino.

‘Everyone was screaming and I felt helpless. Fans aren’t like that, they shouldn’t be like that. But do you know what hurt me too? That no one around me said anything. Everyone saw, but no one did or said anything.’

Meanwhile, her male colleague Giorgio Micheletti who hosted the interview from Toscana TV’s broadcast centre has incurred harsh criticism from viewers after he did not condemn the actions of the men involved, instead simply telling his reporter ‘don’t get angry, don’t get upset’.

AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic is pictured wearing red face paint to raise awareness of violence against women. All Serie A players wore the red mark in Saturday's games.

AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic is pictured wearing red face paint to raise awareness of violence against women. All Serie A players wore the red mark in Saturday’s games.

Commentators have argued that Beccaglia’s colleague is using the same ‘patriarchal rhetoric’ that enables such acts of sexual assault and he has been criticised for not condemning the incident or stopping the live stream.

For her part, Beccaglia has since told Corriere Fiorentino that Micheletti is a ‘serious professional’ who didn’t fully realise what was happening and ‘apologised many times and invited me to tell what had happened and to report it’ after the incident.

Police in Empoli are now conducting an investigation into the incident, and are reviewing the clip from Toscana TV along with CCTV footage from around the area to try to identify the perpetrators, according to Corriere Fiorentino. 

While Beccaglia was being sexually harassed in Empoli, in Rome thousands of protestors were lining the streets protesting violence against women. 

Huge crowds of demonstrators were seen in the Italian capital in a march planned to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which occurred on Thursday. 

The day is celebrated on November 25 each year after it was first made official by the United Nations (UN) in 1999, and the protest in Rome was just one of several which took place across Europe.

Thousands take part in a demonstration organised by 'Non una di meno' feminist movement, as part of the Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on November 27, 2021 in Rome, Italy

Thousands take part in a demonstration organised by ‘Non una di meno’ feminist movement, as part of the Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on November 27, 2021 in Rome, Italy 

Protestors in Rome hold placards which read 'not all men but 97 per cent of women' and 'let's kill the patriarchy, not women' in protest of violence against women

Protestors in Rome hold placards which read ‘not all men but 97 per cent of women’ and ‘let’s kill the patriarchy, not women’ in protest of violence against women

Protesters attend a demonstration against male violence on women in Rome, Italy, on November 27, 2021. Tens of thousands of people walked through Rome on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is celebrated on November 25 as UN designated with a resolution in 1999

Protesters attend a demonstration against male violence on women in Rome, Italy, on November 27, 2021. Tens of thousands of people walked through Rome on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is celebrated on November 25 as UN designated with a resolution in 1999

Hundreds of women also filled the streets of London on Saturday in protest against rape and male violence against women. 

Demonstrators held up placards and chanted slogans as they marched from near Marble Arch to Golden Square in Piccadilly Circus on Saturday night.

Anneliese Dodds, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, joined the protestors, as she urged them to ‘shut down’ the capital in a rousing speech via a megaphone.

The women-only march was part of the annual Reclaim The Night event, which first began in 1977, at the height of the Yorkshire Ripper killings. 

The event has taken on a new meaning this year following a spate of attacks on women after dark. 

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