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By ESPN Staff

Palermo GM thinks goat head gift was a joke

PALERMO, Sicily -- Palermo general manager Rino Foschi received a surprise in the mail for Christmas -- the severed head of a young goat, covered in blood.

Foschi said he received the package on Dec. 22, put it underneath his Christmas tree and his wife opened it on Christmas Eve. Foschi was in Cesena and the package was sent from Palermo, according to news reports.

"It was a sour Christmas, especially for my family," Foschi told the ANSA news agency Saturday. "My wife was shocked when she opened the package, but I think it was a joke and I'm sleeping peacefully. Let's not make a film out of this."

Palermo is third in the Italian league standings and having one of its best ever seasons. But Foschi didn't think the head was from the mafia.

"I don't have anything to do with that stuff, those are things you see in films," Foschi said. "I've lived in Palermo for five years and I've never received any threats. I feel safe in Palermo. I don't have anything to fear.

"I really don't have any explanation. I don't have any suspects to signal. Maybe some idiot wanted to make an ugly Christmas joke ... Maybe I'm disliked for some soccer market moves."