Football: Touchy-feely Russian fan sorry for groping Colombian World Cup reporter

Julieth Gonzalez Theran was reporting from the Russian city of Saransk when the man appeared suddenly, one hand grabbing her arm and the other her breast while kissing her on the cheek.
Julieth Gonzalez Theran was reporting from the Russian city of Saransk when the man appeared suddenly, one hand grabbing her arm and the other her breast while kissing her on the cheek.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM INSTAGRAM/JULIETH GONZALEZ THERAN

BERLIN (AFP) - A Russian football fan apologised on Friday (June 22) for groping and kissing a German TV correspondent during a live telecast from the World Cup.

"I offer you most profound apologies," he told Colombian journalist Julieth Gonzalez Theran in a video call that was shown by TV broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

"I acted carelessly and did not think that I would cause you confusion and shock," added the fan, who declined to give his name.

Theran was reporting from the Russian city of Saransk when the man appeared suddenly, one hand grabbing her arm and the other her breast while kissing her on the cheek.

His abrupt action sparked condemnation of sexual harassment from the German international channel, whose clip of the incident went viral online.

The Russian man said he had placed a bet with a friend that he could kiss the reporter on the cheek, and had waited for her to go on-air before accosting her.

He added that he thought he was grabbing her shoulders with both hands, but "apparently I missed a little".

Theran said she appreciated his apology and voiced her determination to move on from the episode.

"I refuse to be a victim, I just want to continue with my job," she added.

 

The incident occurred against the online backdrop of the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct, which has been making waves around the world, with victims coming forward to report sexual harassment from high-profile individuals.