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Di Canio gets back to soccer but politics won't go away

By Spencer Anderson LONDON (Reuters) - New Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio won the backing of most of his club's travelling fans despite their 2-1 defeat at Chelsea in his first match in charge on Sunday when football returned to centre stage after a week spent dissecting his political views. The Italian's appointment was overshadowed by an old statement that he was "a fascist" with photos of him giving the right-arm salute appearing all over British media.

Football: Di Canio plans to whip Sunderland into shape

Paolo Di Canio has vowed to whip his Sunderland players into shape after the controversial Italian's debut as Black Cats manager ended in a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday. Di Canio's team took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Cesar Azpilicueta's own goal, but Sunderland faded badly in the second half as Chelsea hit back through a Matthew Kilgallon own goal and then Branislav Ivanovic's winner.

Football: Di Canio out of luck as Chelsea down Sunderland

Chelsea ruined Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio's debut as the controversial Italian was left to rue his new side's misfortune in a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Di Canio's appointment as Martin O'Neill's successor last weekend was greeted with a storm of negative headlines about his extremist right-wing political views, but more worrying for Sunderland fans was the decision to thrust a volatile character with no top-flight managerial experience into a relegation dogfight.

Football: Ferguson expresses admiration for Di Canio

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has admitted that he is a fan of Sunderland counterpart Paolo Di Canio, despite the furore over the Italian's political views. Di Canio's appointment at Sunderland created a storm of controversy, as the 44-year-old had previously described himself as a fascist. In response, he released a statement earlier this week in which he said he was "not a racist" and "does not support the ideology of fascism".

Sunderland name Di Canio as head coach

Sunderland appointed flamboyant Italian Paolo Di Canio as head coach on Sunday in place of Martin O'Neill who was sacked by the Premier League strugglers on Saturday.Di Canio, who enjoyed a colourful playing career with clubs including Juventus, AC Milan, Lazio, West Ham United and Celtic among others, joined 16th-placed Sunderland on a two-and-a-half year contract six weeks after quitting third-tier Swindon Town. “Paolo is hugely enthused by the challenge that lies ahead of him.

Di Canio defends himself against racism claim

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio and his employers strongly rebutted suggestions he is racist after a club executive quit in protest at the Italian's past support of fascism.Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband quit as Sunderland vice chairman soon after Di Canio was hired on Sunday, citing “the new manager's past political statements.”But Sunderland indirectly accused Miliband of creating a “political circus” since Di Canio succeeded the fired Martin O'Neill and dismissed the criticism as “insulting.”“Talk about racism?

Football: I don't support fascism, says Di Canio

New Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has addressed controversy over his political beliefs by declaring that he is not a racist and "does not support the ideology of fascism". The appointment of the 44-year-old was fiercely criticised in some quarters, as he told an Italian news agency in 2005 that he was "a fascist, but not a racist" and was pictured giving a fascist salute to fans during his time with Italian club Lazio.

Football: I don't support fascism, says Di Canio

New Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has addressed controversy over his political beliefs by declaring that he is not a racist and "does not support the ideology of fascism". In a statement published on the club website, Di Canio said: "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." Di Canio had previously refused to clarify his political views, having told an Italian news agency in 2005 that he was "a fascist, but not a racist". thw/ak

Football: Anti-racism group calls for Di Canio clarity

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out has urged new Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio to state his opposition to racism, after he refused to answer questions about whether or not he is a fascist. The controversial 44-year-old told an Italian news agency that he was "a fascist, but not a racist" in 2005, but he declined invitations to elaborate on his political views during his introductory news conference on Tuesday.

Di Canio becomes a political football at Sunderland

By Alan Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - Paolo Di Canio's previous boss described the Italian's style as 'management by hand grenade' but his politics and self-professed fascist leanings have proved far more explosive on his arrival at Sunderland. David Miliband, the former Foreign Secretary who is soon to stand down as a MP for the opposition Labour party in north-east England, resigned from the board of the Premier League football club at the weekend after Di Canio's appointment as manager.
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