Rossi axed for Ljajic attack

Fiorentina coach sacked following shocking dug-out scenes

Fighting Fiorentina

Delio Rossi has been sacked by Fiorentina after attacking Adem Ljajic on the bench

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Delio Rossi has been sacked as Fiorentina coach after physically attacking midfielder Adem Ljajic during Wednesday night's 2-2 draw with Novara.

The shocking incident on the bench came after the player's apparent dissent at being substituted just 32 minutes into the match.

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.

But he said he would wait to announce who would take charge of the side for the rest of the season.

"For his own good to make him understand he has made a mistake I had to take this decision. No provocation justifies this reaction."

Andrea Della Valle

Quotes of the week

Respect

"Also for respect of the person with whom I believed in to reconstruct Fiorentina I will say nothing official until Thursday," he added.

"Then you will know who will be given the reins of the team.

"We will also take proportionate measures against Ljajic.

"Rossi has not justified it to me but he is someone who has never done anything like this. I am sorry also that in the 10th year of my reign and with what he has brought - we have won at Milan and Roma and I believed here we would have achieved safety, certainly not that I would have to take a decision like this."

The dramatic events unfolded as the Viola fought to confirm their Serie A status.

The point was enough to put them six points clear of the drop zone with two games remaining.

Fiorentina are all but certain to be in the top flight next season, but it does not mask what has been a difficult campaign.

Pressure

And it seems the pressure got to Rossi, who replaced Sinisa Mihajlovic at the helm in November.

Television pictures clearly show the coach attacking Ljajic as he took his place on the bench.

The player appeared to sarcastically clap his coach's decision to substitute him, and Rossi responded by throwing punches as others on the bench attempted to restrain him.

Fiorentina were 2-0 down at the time, but battled back to claim an important point.

And Della Valle wants to see more of that kind of spirit as they look to recover from the shock of Rossi's departure.

"This team needs unity to get away from the relegation situation," he said. I know now that Delio Rossi is suffering more than anyone.

"But I want to respect the work he has done until now."