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Italian soccer manager fired after he appeared to headbutt player on opposing club

An Italian soccer manager was fired on Monday after he appeared to headbutt a player on the opposing team following a loss during Serie A play.

An Italian soccer manager was fired on Monday after he appeared to headbutt a player on his club’s opponent at the end of Sunday’s match.

Lecce sacked Roberto D’Aversa after the incident during the club’s Serie A loss to Hellas Verona. The action came following a spat between Verona striker Thomas Henry and Lecce defender Marin Pongracic after the final whistle blew.

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D’Aversa came over to Henry to intervene. However, he was seen headbutting Henry in front of the officials.

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

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D’Aversa explained his actions in an interview with Sky Sports.

"I went on to the pitch to try and stop my players being sent off as Verona were provoking us a lot in the final moments of the match and after the final whistle," he said.

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"It wasn't a nice thing to do, I know that. It's inexcusable, and I've been to explain my actions to Verona. I didn't come on the pitch to do that."

He claimed on Instagram he didn’t headbutt the player.

Lecce and Verona are in the middle of a tight race to avoid relegation. Lecee has 25 points on the season and only one up on Frosinone and two up on Sassuolo. Verona has 26 points after their win.

D’Aversa was named manager in June.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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