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Sunderland Manager Paolo Di Canio Says He Does Not Support the Ideology of Fascism

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio says he does not support the ideology of fascism.

In a statement released on the club website, Di Canio finally set the record straight on his political beliefs.

“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 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 that some people like to portray.”

Paolo Di Canio’s appointment by Sunderland as their new manager to replace Martin O’Neill generated controversy regarding a 2005 remark that Di Canio made admitting he was a fascist. Despite repeated attempts, Di Canio and the club refused to answer the question whether Di Canio still held the belief.

On Monday, when Sunderland made an official club statement regarding the controversy, the club stated that “Neither Sunderland AFC, nor Paolo Di Canio, will make any further comment on this matter.” Thankfully they’ve come to their senses to address the PR nightmare head-on instead of trying to ignore the question.

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

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  1. trickybrkn

    April 4, 2013 at 8:42 am

    As a West Ham supporter, and a person who loved watching DiCanio play… I can understand if my objectivity is questioned. That said, DiCanio has always been a passionate man, loved the clubs he played for, and grew up supporting. Lazio is know as Mussolini’s team. Supported by a group called the Ultras who do hold ‘fashionable’ fascist beliefs. And by that, I mean, they are young loyal fans who would call themselves Marxist it it was the mantra. Tottenham fans call themselves “Yids”, yet many are not Jewish, and I’d venture that many don’t have a Jewish relative in their families. Yet… Real Madrid was the team of Franco… and to this day the history of Franco’s attempt to kill anything Catalan, still in the bedrock of the Rivalry between Real and Barca. So DiCanio played into a dirty part of a club’s history. So he didn’t see the big picture… He has always found ways to redeem himself. Going from near blacklisted as a player to winning sportsman of the year, after putting to touch a sure goal after an injury. The one thing that we can count one coming from Sunderland, is passion, and a manager who will speak the truth as he sees it. And we will see if he has truly matured…

  2. Kevan

    April 4, 2013 at 4:37 am

    This was never an issue while he was at Swindon. Why is the media acting crazy over it now?

    • The Gaffer

      April 4, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Because Sunderland is a Premier League club that are on television in front of millions of people every week.

      The Gaffer

      • Scrumper

        April 4, 2013 at 9:27 am

        Millions? Sunderland? I don’t think Sunderland are going to turn out in a all black strip with only white players saluting before the game anytime soon. It appears to me the only interested party is the media (and some daft vicar) who love setting somebody up then eagerly await to draw their daggers if they fail.

        • The Gaffer

          April 4, 2013 at 9:39 am

          That’s not true. Several organizations — including Kick Out Racism, a local university and union, as well as club supporters — questioned his appointment.

          The Gaffer

  3. Smokey Bacon

    April 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Now that this issue is concluded, the papers can move on to the next story……A very public falling out between the manager and the players. The Scum probably already has the story ready to print!

  4. Harry Cee

    April 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Sunderland should have address this by not hiring someone who possibly may have issues when racial and sociopolitical misbehaving is running rampant in the sport right now. It’s like they put a sign on their back saying “Kick me”

  5. sucka99

    April 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    He should have addressed this in the Sky Sports interview. Better yet, Sky should have addressed it.

  6. Marc L

    April 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Hey Sunderland, ever heard of this thing they call “due diligence.” Or, even “google?”

    Because I myself would kind of want to avoid associating with the sort of fellow has to backtrack on previous reported comments that he was actually a Fascist.

    Good grief. I definitely hope Sunderland goes down now.

    And as for DiCanio, what, did SS Lazio not have any openings on the coaching staff?

  7. Dave

    April 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Did anyone expect him to say otherwise? Especially with all the publicity it generated and I’m sure Sunderland must have told him to respond despite the fact that when he had the opportunity at his press conference he refused to say he did not support fascism.

    Anyway, let’s move on and see how he does as a manager in the EPL.

  8. Steve

    April 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I hope this is the last article about Di Canio and fascism. Too many articles about politics.

  9. Sammy

    April 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Well, so it looks like he’s changed his mind then.

  10. Gareth

    April 3, 2013 at 11:24 am

    The way that the club has mishandled this entire thing — from the sacking of Martin O’Neill to the appointment of Di Canio, and especially the PR idiocy that has resulted — is completely Amateur Hour.

    Relegation is probably for the best.

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