Delio Rossi on Friday apologised for attacking his own
midfielder, Adem Ljajic, an act that saw him sacked as Fiorentina
coach and hit with a three-month ban.
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
The coach had hauled off Ljajic 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
"I ask for forgiveness from the city, the players, the club and
the AIC (players' union)," Rossi said, decrying the number of
"self-righteous prigs" that had surfaced over the incident and
refusing to answer any questions.
"It was a deplorable gesture, but understandable on a human
level. I made a mistake and I'm sorry. I paid and will pay the
price," added Rossi, replaced by Vincenzo Guerini, but still
wearing his official Fiorentina clothing.
"I ask for respect for myself, for my work, for the team I coach
and for my family."
Rossi was welcomed Friday at the Artemio Franchi Stadium by a
fans' banner saying "A man, a real one."
The club have also been hit with a 15,000-euro ($19,700) fine
after racist chanting from their fans.
A group of supporters chanted, "You're a gypsy!" at Ljajic after
The Serb, who has also apologised to Rossi and the club, will
play no further part in the season.