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Di Canio issues statement on fascist claims

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Paolo di Canio newsPaolo di Canio has issued a lengthy statement about his personal beliefs following the storm that greeted his appointment as Sunderland manager.

Former Labour leadership contender David Milliband resigned his position as an an honorary director shortly after learning of Di Canio’s appointment.

In a statement Milliband said: “I wish Sunderland AFC all success in the future. It is a great institution that does a huge amount for the North East and I wish the team very well over the next vital seven games.

“However, in the light of the new manager’s past political statements, I think it right to step down.”

During his Lazio days di Canio was pictured making a fascist salute and expressed his admiration for Mussolini in his autobiography.

Those views have kicked up a storm following his appointment at Sunderland forcing the new manager into issuing a statement before he has been formally introduced at a media conference.

Di Canio goes into some length to distance himself from his facist links but at no stage denounces his previous comments.

In a statement to the Sunderland website he said: “Something can happen many years ago but what counts is the facts. My life speaks for me. Of course it hurts me because people try to take your dignity and that is not fair.

“I believe in my pillars and I have values. What offends me more than anything is not because they touch me; they touch what my parents gave to me; the values they gave to me. This is not acceptable.

“What I can say is that if someone is hurt, I am sorry. But this didn’t come from me, it came from a big story that people put out in a different way to what it was.

“I never have a problem in my past. I expressed an opinion in an interview many years ago. Some pieces were taken for media convenience. They took my expression in a very, very negative way – but it was a long conversation and a long interview.

“It was not fair. I know it is a part of my job to do interviews because I am well-known, but sometimes it suits their purpose to put big headlines and a big story.

“I don’t have a problem with anyone. I haven’t had a problem in the past and I don’t know why I have to keep repeating my story, to be defending  myself on something that doesn’t belong to me every time I change clubs. Talk about racism? That is absolutely stupid, stupid and ridiculous.”

Sunderland CEO Margaret Byrne said: “Sunderland AFC is a traditional football club, with a rich and proud history. It has a strong ethos and ethics and that has not changed in any shape or form.

“Naturally it’s been very disappointing to read some of the reaction to Paolo’s appointment in the last 24 hours. Anyone who has met Paolo and spoken with him personally, as we did in depth before making this appointment, will know that he is an honest man, a man of principle and a driven, determined and passionate individual.

“To accuse him now, as some have done, of being a racist or having fascist sympathies, is insulting not only to him but to the integrity of this football club.”

Di Canio signed a two and a half year contract with Sunderland last night and will be in charge for the first time away to Chelsea on Sunday.

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44 comments

  • mark says:

    See if you do/say something when your 16/17 or a young daft boy does it mean you would still do/say the same thing when your older ? I don’t if you steal a car for a wee joyride when your young you won’t do it when your 40 or smash a window or shout something daft, we all change when we get older, seen on the news guys not going back till he leaves and milliband resigning because he’s upset about Di canio as hes Jewish unreal the guy needs a break a hope he does them a turn but anybody thinking about having a go at him face to face better be able to fight or run fast. Mad paulo once a celt always a celt HH

    • Jimbo102 says:

      Sorry Mark, I don’t think you’ve got an understanding of fascism. And I am certainly not one to say when he played for us it was ok because he was our fascist.
      I dear say PolPot, Hitler, Mousolinni and Franco were all nice good guys to their friends but their political views on life are totally abhorrent.
      I think wee Fergus Sussed this idiot out in double quick time and was glad to see the back of him.
      Two views, 1 if he indeed was just playing up to the Lazio fans then he’s a fecking Imbecile and deserves all the grief he’s getting. 2 if, and this is more likely (as he stated it in his autobiography) he believes in fascism then he should take his putrid beliefs back to Italy were he’ll be quite at home.
      Fascism and racism/sectarianism go hand in hand and our club has a proud history of fighting these diseases wherever we come across them. Well done David Milliband a man of sound principles. Hail hail

      • mark says:

        He should go back to Italy for having views you don’t agree with ….. am sure people over here say that about the Irish and we don’t like it . double standards HH

        • Jimbo102 says:

          Again showing no understanding on fascism. Your trying to compare with free and open society and the two don’t mix. Hail hail

          • mark says:

            You said he should go back to Italy the huns tell us to go home to Ireland what’s the difference mate HH

          • Jimbo102 says:

            The difference is all he’s got to put up with is some harsh words from me, in a fascist state if you don’t tow their line you don’t get the offer of gettin tae your just disposed of. Hail hail

        • Gerry says:

          You assert him a fascist & respond in a racist manner? Very odd!

          Di Canio is imperfect as are we all. I don’t agree with his political views. If you look just a little deeper you will see that his views do not equate to fascism as it would be understood here. Views such as those held by BNP & others cannot be equated to Di Canio’s.

          The hypocrisy & ignorance amongst some of our support is staggering. Anyone with even a passing interest in Irish role in WW2 regarding collaboration with Nazi Germany would be better saying nothing.

          It’s ironic that Milliband chooses to resign over his principles having been an insider & supporter to the invasion of Iraq which subsequently saw the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

          Too many are reading the headlines in this story & not taking a step back to consider the facts.

  • Pete Stack says:

    Well said Jimbo.
    Mark, once a Celt always a Celt? This is a guy who refused to turn up for his work with Celtic, who refused to honour a contract he had signed the year before. This is a man who made a Nazi salute at a football match – a mature man, not a spotty youth. I would gladly have him airbrushed out of our history, fine player though he was. Personally I was disgusted when he, Cadete and Van Hooydonk were asked back to play in TB’s Charity match as I believe they all let him down. Di Canio is an arrogant and pompous individual. Well done Milliband.

  • paranoidandroid says:

    Sorry Mark, Paolo di Canio knows exactly what a fascist is, and when he said he was a fascist, he meant it. When he said he was a fascist, he wasn’t speaking as a young guy shooting his mouth off. He was speaking as a grown man who thinks the world would be a better place if it was being run by Hitler and Mussolini. That is, nutters like him.

    • mark says:

      If that’s what he believes in and someone asked him about it he’s the kind of guy who will give that answer am sure he never mentioned Hitler as people keep saying. Over the top reactions never heard any of this when he played for us HH

      • Jimbo102 says:

        It’s not your fault you didn’t know that Lazio has always been the major fascist club in Italy. First chance you get ask their rivals Roma about them.

        I can assure you that when he played for us there was an admittedly small minority if us who questioned bringing
        this sort of person to our club.

        To nail it in the head I would not bar us from signing anyone of any race, colour or creed but I’m sorry fascists would. If you need any more evidence just look down Govan way and you’ll find fascism alive and well.

        CELTIC should we sign tis player?

        SEVCO should we sign this player as he’s an Irish republic catholic??????

        CRUSH FASCISM RACISM SECTARIANISM
        hail hail

        • mark says:

          I understand where your coming from mate but when he signed for us nothing was said about it the same when he was at Sheffield Wednesday or west ham even when he pushed the referee nothing was said about him being a fascist when he went to manage swindon nothing said so why know is it such a big deal and why are so many Celtic supporters so critical of him just don’t understand the reaction HH

          • Jimbo102 says:

            Mark, I really appreciate your arguments and like you I’d rather be talking about the fitba.
            Unfortunately this topic has hit the headlines and people are showing real concern.
            So much so that decent Sunderland fans are bracing themselves for an influx of EDL followers into their ranks.
            It’s interesting the number of clubs that you said Paulo played for but when he’s interviewed he only talks about West Ham (large inter city EDL group attached to their support) or Lazio (number 1 fascist club in Italy)
            I can honestly say I have never heared him mention Celtic or Sheffield Wednesday in any interview I’ve seen.
            Gazza got the benifit of the doubt when he played the flute to us ( he didn’t understand what it meant??) aye right, but Paulo new and understood exactly what he was doing when he gave the nazi salute to the Lazio fans. Unlike Paulo, funny that the two of them played for Lazio but only Gazza got lucky and found another fascist club to play for in Scotland.
            Hail hail

  • Busterhoop says:

    fantastic footballer but a complete feckin screwball.

  • Scott Mackenzie says:

    surprised at the outrage at di canio’s beliefs.

    rome was founded on fascist beliefs, and they went on to conquer the known world, brought untold riches and improved the life of many and also advanced civilisation in many ways. i would imagine its quite normal for a roman man to admire his countries past.

    alexander the great also was a fascist, and also did great things and advanced civilisation at the time.

    yes hitler was also a fascist but put simply bad men do bad things fascist or not, and good men do good things fascist or not.

    is di canio a killer of millions? or simply a man with strong beliefs about how to run his football clubs and life?

    • Jimbo102 says:

      Scott, you fail to or maybe you don’t want to acknowledge that both your examples The Romans and Alexander the Great believed in slavery and that they were superior human beings to all else in the world.
      A Natzi today might with your theory say that hitler Brought Germany off her knees which is one point but will conveniently leave out the other tenets of their party.
      Ask the Jews how good national socialism is.
      Ask the Catalans how good black shirted fascism is.
      If Paulo wants to associate himself with a vile party ( who’s friends include BNP and the EDL) then in a free world he’s entitled to do so. But he shouldn’t start greetin when he’s shown up for what he is.
      CRUSH FASCISM, RACISM AND SECTARIANISM.
      Hail hail

  • mark says:

    I like the guy he’s not Hitler or any other madman that’s been mentioned he’s a football player who played for the hoops and was good at it, what he believes in is up to him got nothing to do with how he manages a football club. Celtic a club open to ALL unless you don’t agree with there beliefs eh ….. HH

    • paranoidandroid says:

      Fascists don’t allow you to believe in anything other than fascism. Fascists would put you up against a wall and shoot you for saying that anything should be open to all.

    • Jimbo102 says:

      Again Mark, I don’t think you have any concept of what fascism is.
      Your right he isn’t Hitler but his beliefs are aligned with his. Celtic was founded on good moral principles, ALL are welcome, help the needy and so on. I’m afraid Mark you’ll find none of these are aligned to fascism.
      Hail hail

  • paranoidandroid says:

    Just a couple of things Scott: Di Canio might not have killed millions, but he admires people who did, or in Mussolini’s case, would have done given half a chance.

    Plus, the idea that the Romans brought civilisation to a load of “babarians” is a myth. It was the Romans that put over the idea that their empire was for the benefit of the people they conquered (the same lie that the British used to justify their empire). But the truth is that the people they conquered already had advanced cultures of their own, and the Romans simply labelled them as inferiour, murdered them, and robbed them blind. Fascism, like you said.

  • Pete Stack says:

    Jimbo,
    Keep fighting the good fight!
    Mark, keep digging – you’ll reach the bottom soon (or is this an April Fool?)
    So Mussolini made the trains run on time. Under Hitler, Germany produced some fantastic cars. Cromwell brought relative peace to Ireland. At what cost? I have none of their fridge magnets in my house. I do have Fidel, Che, Mandela, Pearse et al. I also have Stein, Jinky, Henrik, Lions, Lennon – to be continued. No Di Canio. I predict a spectacular fall from grace for manager and club. Still can’t believe they’ve traded a Martin for a Paulo. Substance over rhetoric, Decency over…. Sunderland are a decent club. Good support already displaying unease over appointment. Decent people living in a tough environment in austere times. Not an easy marraige – not compatible. Will end in tears. Perhaps to appease fans they should sign El – Haj Diouf?

    • mark says:

      Hes been in this country for years at various clubs and never this outrage before, what’s different this time ? HH

  • Pete Stack says:

    Mark,
    Any chance that with the weight of evidence you might just acknowledge that Di Canio is possibly an unsavoury character? He has acknowledged facist sympathies. These sympathies are completely at odds – or should be – with the beliefs of anyone of a Celtic persuasion. He was a fantastic player and a real fans favourite. I have no problem with anyone being paid the going rate for their skills. They are entitled to maximise their earning potential. But DiCanio and his ‘Leetle problem’ was distasteful. I was glad to see the back of him. Also, no idea at that time of his fascist leanings, but I guaratee you this – if Tommy Burns had, he would have given him a complete bodyswerve! A complete and utter ****!

    • mark says:

      Thats fine people not very fond of him for being fascist ok am getting that but why this outrage now he never said the comments last week he said them years ago so what’s the big deal now after all this time in the country, just think its a big over the top HH

      • Jimbo102 says:

        Mark, it’s always been there but now it’s been tackled head on by a distinguished politician ex director of Sunderland FC. A bit like the whispers about rangers money dealings over 11 years and then HMRC exploding it on to the mainstream. Some of us knew but it was a shock for the majority.
        Sad gits like myself have had an eye on Paulo ever since he wore the hoops as he came from Lazio. Playing ability unquestionably good as a person manipulative, patronising, disrespectful and egotistical.
        Something to think aswell, lately his two publicised indiscretions at Swindon were with a young goalkeeper who he hooked in the first half of a game he was black, the rammy he had up the tunnel with his young striker he was black.
        Then in his defence today he brought out the old “I’ve got black friends” chestnut, the manager and coach of Charlton????
        As Pete says he’s Sunderland ‘s problem now and I agree I think it’s going to end in tears hail hail

  • Pete Stack says:

    Mark,
    The hole you’re digging is getting deeper. ‘What’s the big deal now?’ ‘Over the top?’
    Do you realise that April Fools Day pranks are supposed to finish at 12PM? Are you serious? Never mind your earlier quote – Once a Tim.. What about ‘Once a facist?’ I thnk you need to find another club to support. You sound a wee bit like the manager of a club not a million miles away. There was outrage when this unsavoury individual made the Fascist salute (in a Rome derby I think). There was outrage when he professed admiration for Mussolini. Whatetver way you dress it up he is , was and will always be a ‘controversial’ figure. If you seek to excuse him just because he was a wonderful talent – shame on you. If Walfrid shared your sentiments we certainly would not have the kind of club we have today. Suggest you go on tour and take in a match or two at Ibrox or the New Den.

    • mark says:

      Who are you to tell me to find another club a go home and away every week but because I think its a bit over the top about Di canio a need to stop supporting Celtic I no bother lawwell ffs get a grip Celtics a football club not a anti fascist political vehicle for you to decide who supports it

  • edward says:

    Look this guy DiCanio has managed Swindon.End of story.He is an extremist and brings trouble with him wherever he goes .He beleives in his pillars and he has values .He is a facsist and doesnot deny it .The replies to Mark make good and reasonable arguement .If Mark thinks otherwise that”s fine .Just find it hard to beleive that a rich,no nothing about football, Yank did not know exactly what he was doing when he hired this man. He has just made right wing neo conservative politics(the new soft soap name for Fascism) a issue in the EPL.Im sure the right wing extremist groups will be pleased with the Yank.

  • Pete Stack says:

    Well put Edward. As far as the soft soap – Fascism is Fascism. Horrible term, no place in Football, no place in a civilized society. Bad things happen when good people say nothing – are you watching Mark? Being passive is no excuse – Making excuses is no excuse. Fascism is wrong. Then, now and Forever! Together we are not Rangers!

  • Jimbo102 says:

    Great points. Exactly the way we should tackle subjects like this with coherent argument. To be fair I hope Mark goes on to find out more about the horrors of fascism and I appreciate and am disappointed that the few of us who were aware of Paulo’s rancid political views didn’t shout louder earlier.
    CRUSH FASCISM RACISM SECTARIANISM
    HAIL HAIL

  • Gerry says:

    Di Canio is imperfect as are we all. I don’t agree with his political views. If you look just a little deeper you will see that his views do not equate to fascism as it would be understood here. Views such as those held by BNP & others cannot be equated to Di Canio’s.

    The hypocrisy & ignorance amongst some of our support is staggering. Anyone with even a passing interest in Irish role in WW2 regarding collaboration with Nazi Germany would be better saying nothing.

    It’s ironic that Milliband chooses to resign over his principles having been an insider & supporter to the invasion of Iraq which subsequently saw the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

    Too many are reading the headlines in this story & not taking a step back to consider the facts.

    • mark says:

      Gerry don’t get involved or you need to fond another club by the sounds of things on here. HH

      • Gerry says:

        I’ve no idea what that means?

        • Gerry says:

          Sorry mark take it you mean find. Keyboard too small on phone.

          I’m going nowhere.

          If there’s any facts you want to dispute let me know & I’ll clarify for you.

          • mark says:

            wasn’t having a go mate am in your camp about Di canio its what the others will tell you for not agreeing mate and I did mean find lol HH

    • Jimbo102 says:

      Ah Gerry, sorry mate its ok I get it Paulo is only fascist LIGHT as opposed to fascist FULL FAT.???
      No such thing your fascist or your not.
      As for your bit of history, yes you are right there was collaboration with nazi germany by the Irish republic, they were fascist simpathisers, but again you conveniently left out that their was thousands of Irishmen who gave up their lives fighting against nazi germany. Just like there were fascist simpathisers in the uk, Mosley and the like.
      I’ll give you a couple of pointers to read the Franco Spanish civil war and Mousolini my downfall.
      I think your pop at Milliband for his part in the Iraq war against a fascist Baathist regime is a fair one, there in lies the greatness in a free and liberal society. Under fascism you would be put up against a wall and shot.
      I think you need to understand this is not an accusation against Paulo he freely admits he’s a fascist.
      Hail hail

      • Gerry says:

        In Ireland the government made moves to help the Nazi’s, quite different from Mosely et al. That with full knowledge of the atrocities being committed. Not good.

        The Church were none to clever either and had Nazi & fascist sympathies in Spain & Germany. I’m well aware of their backing of Franco in Spain. Shameful!

        Some Celtic supporters hypocrisy is breathtaking. The ones who regularly bang on about freedom of expression justifying IRA chants are amongst the ones blasting Di Canio. Maybe they’re unaware of the history. Or maybe they pick & choose logic which suits at different times.

        There are massive cultural differences too between Italy & UK.
        Di Canio’s comments must be read in proper context. I can’t explain that as well as someone who understands it better than me. If it interests you here’s a link to an excellent article. http://talkingbaws.com/2013/04/02/fascism-not-an-easy-subject/

        I don’t agree with Di Canio’s views but having read them they’re not as extreme as some would suggest.

        No one is perfect Di Canio certainly has his mad moments. I accept he can be a volatile guy.

        Its a witch hunt against Paulo just now. It needs some understanding. Any fool can condemn and most do.

        I like him, he has passion & he was a great Celt. The game is richer for having him & I wish him every success at Sunderland.

        • Jimbo102 says:

          Thank you for the talking baws link. I read it but again I have difficulty in any justification in condoning fascism or fascists.
          Anyway you cut it up the ideology of fascism incorporates racism, muted in the piece as anti simetic.
          It astounds me that Celtic supporters would turn a blind eye or water down the seriousness of fascism just because a guy scored a few goals for us.
          As was said in a previous piece I’d be happy if he could be airbrushed out our history.
          You said Italian fascism is not the same as uk fascism. We’ll just wait and see if NF, EDL, BNP start latching on to Sunderland FC knowing they have a fascist manager.
          CRUSH FASCISM RACISM AND SECTARIANISM

          • Gerry says:

            I can’t find any instance or accusation that Di Canio has been racist to anyone. I’d think differently if he had.

          • Jimbo102 says:

            Here’s one he gave a nazi salute to baying fascist thugs. Is that a racist act???
            Paulo’s cheeky chappie appearance and his Dolmio accent might be enough to convince some people he’s harmless but to me he wears his fascist ideology like a badge of honour and for this I find him abhorrent. Hail hail

          • Gerry says:

            No.

  • Jimbo102 says:

    Ah well, says it all.
    Hail hail

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