Coach sacked for punching player

May 04, 2012, 09:52 IST | AFP

Coach Delio Rossi was hit with a three-month ban yesterday, a day after he was sacked by Fiorentina for attacking his own midfielder, Adem Ljajic.

Rossi lost the plot after half an hour of Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Novara and leapt into the dug-out to punch the 20-year-old Serbian. “The television images clearly and visibly ... show rash behaviour that was as violent as it was unexpected,” said the Italian sporting justice authorities in explaining their decision.

Fiorentina coach Delio Rossi (second from left) attacks Adem Ljaljic during a Serie A match on Wednesday. Pic/AFP

“The gravity of the action cannot be excused by the emotional tension generated by a delicate sporting moment.” The coach had hauled off Ljajic after just half an hour, with his team trailing 2-0 following a disastrous start. The young midfielder took the move badly and sarcastically applauded his coach, who responded by leaping at Ljajic and throwing several punches before being dragged back by club officials. Fiorentina owner Andrea Della Valle took just over an hour to act, firing Rossi after the game despite the coach’s apology. 

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