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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 21 October, 2014

Banned Rossi defends touchline brawl as ‘humanly justifiable’

“Certain lines should not be crossed. If someone touches my family, I can’t pretend that I didn’t hear it.”

Image: Fabrizio Giovannozzi/AP/Press Association Images

FORMER FIORENTINA BOSS Delio Rossi has hinted that the mid-match attack which cost him his job was a direct response to an insult to his family.

Rossi hit the headlines on Wednesday evening when he reached into the dugout and punched Serbian midfielder Adem Ljajic during the Viola‘s 2-2 Serie A draw with Novara.

TV footage showed Ljajic sarcastically applauding and giving Rossi the thumbs up following the manager’s decision to substitute him in the 32nd minute with Fiorentina 2-0 down.

Rossi was sacked by club owner Andrea Della Valle that night and was later hit with a three-month ban from football. But speaking to the media following his dismissal, the Italian defended his violent response to the provocation.

“I’ve never slapped anyone, but I demand respect for the club I train and my family,” Rossi said (Football Italia). “That is why I reacted.

Certain lines should not be crossed. If someone touches my family, I can’t pretend that I didn’t hear it.

I’ll rightly pay the price as my actions were disgraceful, but they were humanly justifiable.

Former Fiorentina midfielder Vincenzo Guerini has been appointed as caretaker manager for the final two games of the season.

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