Monday, April 22, 2024

Lecce sack boss Roberto D’Aversa after apparent headbutt on Verona player

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Mar 2024

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Roberto D’Aversa has been sacked as manager of Serie A side Lecce after aiming an apparent headbutt at an opposition player at the weekend.

D’Aversa clashed with Verona’s Thomas Henry during an ill-tempered end to his side’s 1-0 defeat on Sunday and was seen on camera lunging towards the player head-first.

The 48-year-old later apologised in an Instagram post where he admitted to “head to head contact” but denied butting the striker.

That was not enough to appease his employers, with Lecce dismissing him less than 24 hours later via a brief statement.

It read: “After the events that occurred at the end of the Lecce-Verona match, US Lecce announces that it has relieved coach Roberto D’Aversa of his duties. Thanks go to the coach and his staff for the work done.”

Prior to making the decision, the club had previously noted it “firmly condemns the gesture of its coach as it is contrary to the principles and values of sport”.

D’Aversa’s Instagram post, released on Sunday evening, read: “I made a mistake and I apologise.

“I came into head-to-head contact with Henry, but I did not hit the Veronese player with a headbutt, nor did I receive one from him. It was a physical contact, a terrible example, an anti-sporting image resulting from great tension and adrenaline.

“I got carried away by the heat and lost clarity, but not to the point of hitting another person. This is not me, I reject it and do not accept it. Once again I apologise to Henry, to the Lecce, Verona and Italian public, to the referees, to the two clubs, to my management, my staff and my team.”

Lecce have won only once since the turn of the year and lie 15th in the table.

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