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    Bet with SkyBet  Premier League. Click here to bet.

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."

Bet with SkyBet  Premier League. Click here to bet.

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Premier League: No Manchester City hangover, insists Manuel Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City will keep fighting for the Premier League title, despite their week to forget.

Sherwood keen to keep Eriksen

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood hopes the club can keep hold of Christian Eriksen in the summer.

Premier League: Roberto Martinez hails Everton players after win over Manchester United

Roberto Martinez saluted the focus and adaptability of his Everton squad after a 2-0 victory over Manchester United.

Mail Box

That's Why We Didn't Want Jose At United

There is plenty of reaction to Mourinho's antics (Isn't that exactly what he wanted?) plus thoughts on Connor Wickham, Fabio Borini, beach balls and Tim Sherwood...

Kieran's Not The Only One Keeping Notes

Another chap in the mailbox has been keeping notes on comments made by optimistic Man United fans. Plus, Garey Vance is offering a double-or-quits on his new tattoo...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property