Former Lecce coach Roberto D’Aversa handed 4-match ban for headbutting a player

LECCE, Italy (AP) — Former Lecce coach Roberto D’Aversa was banned for four matches on Tuesday for headbutting a player in an incident that led to him being fired by the Serie A club.

Following the final whistle of Sunday’s 1-0 loss to fellow struggler Hellas Verona, D’Aversa went over to intervene in an argument between Verona striker Thomas Henry and Lecce defender Marin Pongracic, but instead ended up knocking Henry over with an apparent headbutt directly in front of one of the match officials.

D’Aversa apologized for the incident in post-match interviews but also later said on Instagram that it wasn’t a headbutt.

However, the Italian league’s sports judge statement on Tuesday said D’Aversa was given the ban for “having struck an opposition player on the face with a headbutt.”

D’Aversa was also fined 10,000 euros ($11,000).

The 48-year-old D’Aversa was fired by Lecce on Monday, meaning that if he is employed by another Serie A club he will be banned for his first four matches in charge.

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.


AP soccer:

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