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."

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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