Man who nibbled boy’s ear in odd World Snooker Championship video issues statement | Other | Sport


During the live broadcast, a man in the background appeared to lean over and whisper to a boy before seemingly nibbling his ear. The youngster then smiled and waved at the camera as the man apparently realised that he was being recorded and broke out in a cheesy grin before wobbling his head back and forth.

Stefano Voci, 43, has since defended his behaviour by penning a heartfelt statement in which he described the incident as a normal means of expressing affection towards a loved one. Voci added that he was visiting relatives in Sheffield before identifying his relationship to the boy, which we are not stating to protect his identity.

Voci, an Italian national, wrote: “There are many clarifications to make but everything is in process. I was just someone sharing love and affection like anyone else, that was exposed maliciously.

“My family are fine and closer than ever. I don’t care that my face is all over social media with photomontages and fake posts. Just leave my family alone. God bless you all and best wishes to you all.”

Many viewers were left alarmed by the incident, with a clip going viral on social media and receiving over 12 million views within 24 hours. The widespread concern prompted South Yorkshire Police to launch an investigation after receiving a formal complaint, saying at the time: “We are aware of the footage and officers will be reviewing the content.”

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The probe was dropped by South Yorkshire Police earlier this week, with investigators satisfied that no crime had been committed. A spokesperson confirmed: “Following review of the video, officers have determined no crime has been committed and the investigation has been filed.”

The force previously urged people to avoid spreading rumours online, saying: “We would encourage the public not to speculate about the footage and the circumstances surrounding the content.” The World Snooker Tour said they would not comment on the incident, with a representative stating: “We are aware of this incident and it is now a police matter.”



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