Livorno ultras wrote a public letter of apology and shock after Paulinho was physically attacked.
The captain was pushed by the 44-year-old fan, though some reports suggest he was slapped in the face, after Sunday’s 2-0 home defeat to Lazio.
The fan has been identified and banned from sporting events, but it remains to be seen whether there will be further police action against him.
Ultras wrote an open letter condemning the lone figure for his “absurd gesture. While nobody in the squad deserved such treatment, even less so our Number 9.
“We want to believe the person who did this was just passing by the Stadio Armando Picchi and didn’t even know who the player in front of him was, because otherwise we can’t explain this.
“We wish to show all our support to the team, the Coach and above all Paulinho, thanking him for all he has done for the club colours.
“This lad came back to Livorno and in three years carried the team, taking it away from the abyss of relegation two years ago, dragging it into Serie A and giving his heart and soul for every minute of every game to achieve safety.
“He always expressed words of love towards the fans and that was returned in kind. We won’t allow the gesture of one individual to damage the rapport with our Number 9, who wore the captain’s armband with dignity.
“We represent the ultras and most probably all the Amaranto fans when we say Forza Paulo, Livorno supports and loves you! Whatever your future, this city will always be your home!”
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