Fascist becomes Sunderland football manager

Paolo Di Canio makes fascist salute

From CBC in Canada:

Paolo Di Canio signs deal to become Sunderland manager

Contract to replace fired Martin O’Neill is for 2.5 years

The Associated Press

Posted: Mar 31, 2013 5:34 PM ET

Last Updated: Mar 31, 2013 6:48 PM ET

Sunderland took a gamble by hiring Paolo Di Canio as its new manager on Sunday, empowering the inexperienced and outspoken Italian with the tough task of ensuring the relegation-threatened team retains its Premier League status.

The appointment came a day after Martin O’Neill was fired following a poor run of results and sparked immediate controversy, with former British politician David Miliband resigning from his positions as vice chairman and non-executive director of the club because of Di Canio’s openly fascist leanings.

Di Canio had a colorful playing career in the top divisions of Italy, England and Celtic, marked by sublime goals and headline-grabbing antics — notably when he pushed a referee to the ground after being sent off while playing for Sheffield Wednesday in 1996.

Then there was the straight-arm salute — adopted by the Italian Fascist regime in the early 20th century — that he performed in front of the fans of his Lazio team in 2005, earning him a ban, a fine and condemnation by FIFA.

“I am a fascist, not a racist,” Di Canio said at the time, and he has praised Mussolini in his autobiography, calling the former Italian leader as “basically a very principled, ethical individual” who was “deeply misunderstood.”

Di Canio has limited managerial experience, with his only previous job ending at third-tier English club Swindon last month after a turbulent 1 1/2 years in charge. It is a big call by Sunderland owner Ellis Short at this stage of the season. …

[David] Miliband, who contested the leadership in 2010 of the Labour party in Britain, stood down within minutes of the 44-year-old Di Canio’s appointment.

“I wish Sunderland AFC all success in the future,” Miliband wrote on his website. “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.”

So David Miliband, rightly so, does not want to work now with a self-styled fascist. I wish he would have thought like that earlier, when he was still British Foreign Secretary and sent people to dictatorship’s dungeons to be tortured.

18 thoughts on “Fascist becomes Sunderland football manager

  1. David Miliband stepping down was no shock.
    Martin O’Neil was the ex Manager, he managed the team I support, Glasgow Celtic for several seasons. Paolo Di Canio played for Glasgow Celtic. He was a BRILLIANT talent of a player. Scored the BEST GOAL ever in the English leagues.

    But he is a fascist bastard.
    At the time of this picture you posted (a great picture to go with the blog may I add, not a good picture, just for the blog it is)
    At the time all Glasgow Celtic fans HATED him and still do. Glasgow Celtic are a Catholic club with massive charity outgivings worldwide.
    Daniel Day-Lewis next movie is on Brother Wilfrid, the man who Started Glasgow Celtic in 1888 to feed the Catholics leaving Ireland due to English hate!!

    Anyway, I don’t like the man. He was a brilliant football player.
    But his liking of Mussolini, for me is a step to far, he says “I am a fascist, not a racist,”
    For me there is no difference, he liked hatred!!
    As the manager of Swindon Town he had did REALLY well, and was often in the news for the wrong reasons or stupid reasons.
    I am all for freedom of speech and opinions.
    But he upset MANY with this fasist shit

    I don’t agree with this at all. I loved Sunderland’s old manager Martin O’Neil,as a man. The Sunderland support are NOT liking this. Here is a messageboard on the subject.

    This is ALL over the news this morning.
    Bad, very bad..
    And I am a Football Manger myself.

    He does not have what it takes to lead men at this level of football
    Great blog


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  4. How to send off the racists

    I went to a football match between Steaua Bucharest and Chelsea last week.

    Members of the crowd gave Nazi salutes, and singled out Chelsea’s Israeli player Yossi Benayoun for whistling.

    There were banners in red, black and white—not colours of either team.

    This is not an isolated instance, but nothing is being done. Any advice on how I could organise?

    Bob Mercer, Bucharest



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  6. Hi there,
    I’m italian and I’m really sad for the shame Di canio represent for us italians. He was a talent player, sure, but like a man he’s a stupid bastard. Would we say that he is fascist? ok, well, but in my opinion he don’t know nothing about the fascist ideology, he’s not fascist, he’s just a stupid man. The lazio fans ( and Verona fans) are the worst in Italy, the rubbish of Romans people. In a lot of blogs and journals I’ve read that the Italians have poor brains and so on..I think this is the usual and same story. Isn’t like this. Simply, we have people that are superficials and they don’t read, don’t study etc..I can swear that in Italy the antifascism is, still today, very strong. Di canio show the worst face of our country.
    Congratulations for the blog!


    • Hi Alessandro, thanks for your kind words about my blog! One should certainly, as you say, not blame all Italians for Di Canio. I think one also should not blame all people from Rome or from Verona, and all fans of the local football clubs there.

      Di Canio called himself a fascist, and praised Mussolini. So, it is not just that salute at a football match. Recent reports say he was also present as a mourner at the funeral of an infamous fascist, involved in a terrorist bomb plot which killed many people.


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