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Anorak | David Miliband used Paolo Di Canio and left Sunderland with the better man

David Miliband used Paolo Di Canio and left Sunderland with the better man

by | 2nd, April 2013

miliband di canio

PAOLO Di Canio has caused “outrage” at Sunderland. The Sun says “thousands of furious” Mackems are turning on the club. A Rob Johnson says he is “sickened and ashamed” that Di Canio is the club’s new manager. John Hall, a 92-year-old World War 2 veteran says he would “fight the fascists all over again”. 

The Sun’s lead headline, “WAR VETS BOYCOTT ‘FASCIST’ DI CANIO”, is somewhat undone when Mr Hall’s quote is seen in full:

“I’m too old to go to matches but I’d pack it in if I was still going.”

Readers see Di Canio giving a straight-arm salute to the Lazio fans he adore and who adore him. The ‘Ultras’ fans who support get this SS Lazio once unveiled a 50-metre banner that told Roma fans “Auschwitz is your town, the ovens are your houses” and who assaulted Spurs fans in Rome’s popular Campo de’ Fiori in what many believe to have been an anti-Semitic attack. Di Canio has the word ‘Dux” tattooed on his arm. It’s what Italy’s dictator Benito Mussolini liked to be called.

Finally, Di Canio wrote in his autobiography that he thought Mussolini was “basically a very principled , ethical individual”.

But none  of that was big news when Di Canio became manager of Swindon Town. Maybe Swindon doesn’t care what Di Canio thinks of the Blackshirts, or has accepted Di Canio words that he is fascist  “not a racist”. Maybe, given the decline of far-right groups in British politics, they saw Di Canio as a cultural curiosity. Or maybe they just thought he was good football manager and didn’t give a toss what he thinks about aligning corporatism with State power so long as he led the team to glory (which he did)?

But Swindon never did have a former advisor to Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary on the board. Sunderland had David Miliband, who quit the his post because he was upset by Paolo Di Canio’s “past political statements”.’

The BBC led with the news that Milliband had returned to London” . He never left the place. Milliband, an Arsenal fan, was a part-time Sunderland supporter whose job was to give the club an identity and represent it at the UN? Sunderland fans will not lament his leaving. But Miliband’s departure moved Di Canio’s appointment from the back pages to the front pages.

Di Canio is upset at the bad press he’s getting.

“What I can say is that if someone is hurt, I am sorry. 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. Talk about racism? That is absolutely stupid, stupid and ridiculous. The people who know me can change that idea quickly. When I was in England my best friends were [black England players] Trevor Sinclair and Chris Powell, the Charlton manager – they can tell you everything about my character. I don’t want to talk about politics because it’s not my area. We are not in the Houses of Parliament, we are in a football club. I want to talk about sport. I want to talk about football.”

Di Canio has never called

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Posted: 2nd, April 2013 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports Comments (13) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink