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Fiorentina manager Delio Rossi sacked after assault on own player

May 3, 2012

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Delio Rossi has been sacked after an incident on the sidelines of Fiorentina’s 2-2 draw with Novara involving attacking midfielder Adem Ljajic. It was, however, the manager who was doing all the attacking as he burst out in anger after making a substitution in just the 32nd minute. Video evidence shows him wrestling the midfielder into his chair and grabbing his throat, and the club were quick to dispose of their manager after the incident.

Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle said in a statement released after the match and posted on the club’s official website: “In a few seconds months of stress came out. I am sorry because the coach has never committed acts of this kind. For his own good to make him understand he has made a mistake I had to take this decision. No provocation justifies this reaction.”

Della Valle confirmed Ljajic would also face action for his part in the incident.

The new man at the top is to be announced later this week for the side in purple, who have now all but secured their position in Italy’s top flight next season, despite a poor start to the year.

Rossi, who replaced Sinisa Mihajlovic in November, has not made a comment on the incident. His side were 2-0 down when the assault took place and it appears that the pressures of fighting a relegation battle were getting to him, although sources at the club were keen to note that it was uncharacteristic of him.

Certainly, it will have dented his career prospects, and symbolises the disunity of the Fiorentina players on the pitch this season rather poignantly. With a stern test at the weekend in the form of a trip to Lecce, these (slightly) off the pitch events at the club will not have helped them try and finish the season on a solid note. Lecce, although in the bottom three, have the greatest hope of escaping the drop, with a spirited late run of from encapsulated by a 1-1 draw with league leaders Juventus.

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