Police have started a procedure for issuing a banning order against a man who parachuted onto the pitch during Inter’s dramatic 4-3 win over Sassuolo at the Mapei Stadium on Sunday – despite the offender claiming he didn’t realise he was landing on a football pitch.
The 36-year old man from Milan took off in a wingsuit and a helmet featuring a camera from the nearby Reggio Campovolo airport and glided onto the pitch near the centre circle with the game poised at 2-1 to Inter, with Romelu Lukaku about to take a penalty.
He was removed from the field by stewards during a short delay. Fortunately, the surprise arrival of the parachutist caused no damage to any players or the pitch itself.
The man, according to reports in Italy, has been charged by Reggio Emilia Police for the unusual pitch invasion, with a statement claiming: “the action carried out could have caused serious risk to the safety of the numerous members of the public present and of the footballers.”
The reports, via Euronews.it, also claim that the man was an experienced parachutist.
It is said, he had justified his entrance at the Mapei Stadium by telling the local press that he had ‘a slight screw problem’ after launch and had opted for an ’emergency landing’.
Bizarrely, the man also claimed not to have realised the the ‘green square’ was, in fact, a 20,000-seater football stadium, with a game going on.
Antonio Conte’s Inter won the match 4-3, with Lukaku dispatching his penalty despite the unexpected interruption.
Inter, who were 4-1 up in the second half, held off a late fightback from hosts Sassuolo to pick up all three points and keep up the heat on Juventus at the top of the Serie A table.
They face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday before a home tie against Parma in Serie A on Saturday.