Di Canio: I am not a fascist

Paolo Di Canio has attempted to draw a final line under the controversy surrounding his appointment as Sunderland head coach by denying he supports fascism.

Last Updated: 04/04/13 at 09:14 Post Comment

Paolo Di Canio: Doesn't support fascism

Paolo Di Canio: Doesn't support fascism

The colourful Italian succeeded Martin O'Neill on Sunday but the appointment was immediately heavily criticised by vocal opponents across the football and political spectrum.

Local South Shields MP David Miliband decided almost immediately to step down from the club's board as vice-chairman due to Di Canio's "past political statements".

The Dean of Durham became the latest public figure to voice his disquiet after Di Canio repeatedly refused to answer questions on his politics when formally unveiled to the press.

But he decided to release a statement on Sunderland's official website to finally put the episode to rest.

The statement read: "I have clearly stated that I do not wish to speak about matters other than football, however, I have been deeply hurt by the attacks on the football club.

"This is an historic, proud and ethical club and to read and hear some of the vicious and personal accusations is painful. I am an honest man, my values and principles come from my family and my upbringing.

"I feel that I should not have to continually justify myself to people who do not understand this. However, I will say one thing only, I am not the man some people like to portray.

"I am not political, I do not affiliate myself to any organisation, I am not a racist and I do not support the ideology of fascism. I respect everyone.

"I am a football man and this and my family are my focus. I will speak only of football."

The furore over Di Canio's failure to renounce fascism reached new heights earlier when The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, the Dean of Durham, wrote an open letter to say he was struggling to stay loyal to the club and that he found Di Canio's "self-confessed fascism deeply troubling".

Sadgrove, the child of a Jewish war refugee, said in his letter: "I believe that unless you clearly renounce fascism in all its manifestations, you will be associated with these toxic far-right tendencies we have seen too much of in this region."

He added: "Please tell me that I have misunderstood, or missed some fundamental issue here. I am simply telling you with a heavy heart that it feels hard at the moment to stay loyal."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

hy is the dinosaur trying to hold on to this.... Just leave... No one wants you in this position you corrupt loser. Let someone else take over....

arsenal121
Defiant Sepp blames minority

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

Footer 365

D-day for FIFA as Sepp Blatter opens 65th congress

Sepp Blatter has formally opened FIFA's congress on a day his critics hope could signal a new start for football.

FA chairman Greg Dyke calls for possible Russia 2018 boycott

FA chairman Greg Dyke wants UEFA nations to consider pulling out of the World Cup finals in Russia in three years' time.

Sepp Blatter vs Prince Ali: FIFA election explained

Will Sepp Blatter see off Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein? We explain how Friday's presidential vote works...

Mail Box

What Would You Do If You Were Blatter?

Step into Sepp's shoes, is the invitation from one mailboxer. Also: United already have their new number one, Rodgers deserves time, and the best Budget XI so far...

What Is It That FIFA Actually Do?

That's the question raised timidly by someone sat at the back of the room, whilst others remind that UEFA aren't perfect either. Plus a few more gone on to better XIs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company