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Anti-fascism campaigners slam Di Canio appointment

Anti-fascism campaigners have called for Paolo Di Canio to publicly retract comments about his political views.

Unite Against Fascism's joint national secretary, Weyman Bennett, said his appointment was "an insult" to the people of Sunderland:

If he wants to be a manager and wants to be a public figure, he needs to make it clear he accepts these views are completely inappropriate.

Football has made great strides in opposing fascism. It's simply not true that you can say you agree with fascism and that's okay. It's something that isn't acceptable.

– Weyman Bennett, Unite Against Fascism

Fans cautiously welcome Paolo Di Canio appointment

Some Sunderland fans have said they support Paolo Di Canio's appointment, but cautioned that he must keep his political views to himself.

A Sunderland fan Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive/Press Association Images

One season ticket holder, Stan Simpson, said some fans would be "wary" about the Italian's appointment but that he respected David Miliband for sticking to his principles.

"I understand Mr Miliband's decision but there is no way we, as fans, would entertain any fascism in our club. As long as he doesn't express any political opinions I can cope with it."

Janet Rowan, another fan, said she thought Di Canio was "very passionate" about the game but said extremist politics "isn't something we want in football".

She added: "I respect David Miliband's views but as fans we have got to support Di Canio."

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Paolo Di Canio appointed Sunderland head coach

Paolo Di Canio has been appointed Sunderland head coach. Credit: PA Wire

Paolo Di Canio has been appointed Sunderland head coach on a two-and-a-half-year deal, the club have announced.

David Miliband has resigned from his role as vice-chairman and non-executive director of Sunderland due to new manager Di Canio's "past political statements", the former MP said.

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