Serie A
Serie A coach fired after appearing to head-butt opposing striker
Serie A

Serie A coach fired after appearing to head-butt opposing striker

Updated Mar. 11, 2024 10:02 a.m. ET

Lecce coach Roberto D’Aversa was fired on Monday after having appeared to head-butt a player.

The incident happened at the end of Sunday’s 1-0 home loss to fellow struggler Hellas Verona.

Verona striker Thomas Henry was arguing with Lecce defender Marin Pongracic after the final whistle when D’Aversa went over to intervene, but instead ended up knocking Henry over with an apparent head-butt directly in front of one of the match officials.

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"After what happened at the end of the Lecce-Verona match, Lecce announces that it has relieved coach Roberto D’Aversa of his duties," the Serie A club said in a statement. "Thanks go to the coach and his staff for the work carried out."

Replays appeared to show that it was indeed a head-butt but D’Aversa — who also apologized — later said on Instagram that it wasn’t.

Both D’Aversa and Henry were sent off.

The 48-year-old D’Aversa, who had previously coached Parma and Sampdoria, had been in charge of Lecce since June. After an impressive start to the season, where it was undefeated after five matches, Lecce sits just a point above the relegation zone.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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