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Paolo Di Canio faced tough questions about his political views as he faced the media for the first time since taking over as Sunderland boss.
In a stormy news conference the 44-year-old Italian was asked on several occasions if he was a fascist but did not respond.
He told reporters: "We are in a football club and not in the House of Parliament. I'm not a political person, I will talk about only football."
Sunderland fans have had a mixed reaction to Paolo Di Canio's appointment as head coach. Some, like Rob Johnson, said they would boycott the club while he remains in post:
Others felt Di Canio should be believed when he said his words had been twisted, and urged fellow fans to judge him by his results on the pitch:
"I don't have to answer that question any more. I am not a politician. I have not had a problem with anyone in 45 years.
"In the past people can pick the words. I don't give people the chance to offend my parents."
Paulo Di Canio will hold his first press conference as Head Coach of Sunderland football club later this morning. He replaces Martin O'Neill who was sacked at the weekend.
Di Canio's political views have caused a stir with fans and also with David Milliband, who resigned as the club's Vice Chairman.
New Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has issued a statement following the controversy surrounding his appointment.
Latest ITV News reports
Yesterday's press conference at Sunderland's Academy of Light training base was illuminating in every way but one.