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The former Palermo coach has been fired by the Viola after assaulting the 20-year-old Serb, but he maintains that he was the victim of strong provocation on Wednesday

Adem Ljajic has rejected Delio Rossi's accusation that he insulted the former Fiorentina coach's mother seconds before being attacked by the Rimini native.

Rossi assaulted the Serbia international in the dugout after the player had reacted with sarcastic applause and praise following his 32nd-minute substitution in Wednesday night's Serie A clash with Novara.

The former Palermo boss, who was sacked over the incident, is now claiming that Ljajic also made a derogatory remark about his mother in Serbian, which Rossi has a grasp of, but the forward insists otherwise.

“I want to deny in every possible way the story that I insulted Rossi in my language,” the 20-year-old told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Besides, the insult he is referring to is not even a common phrase for me or the Serbian language.

“At this stage I’d have no problem admitting it if I had said something like that. But I repeat, I made a mistake, but my provocation was limited to an applause and the phrase ‘bravo maestro, really, you’re great.’

“I was wrong and I was angry but, despite my anger, I maintained enough of a clear head to avoid using insults.

"I never said anything like that and I don’t understand why he has to refer to falsehoods now.

“It’s true that I didn’t apologise to the coach and that was a mistake, but his reaction was just too strong."

Ljajic, who has been capped six times by his country, joined the Viola from Partizan in January of 2010 for a reported fee of €8 million.

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