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Di Canio: I don't support fascism

After three days of intense public pressure, the new Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio has insisted: "I am not a racist and I do not support the ideology of fascism." He had refused to say if he was a fascist during a news conference yesterday.

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Durham Miners' Association wades into Di Canio row

The Durham Miners' Association has waded into the row over the appointment of Paolo Di Canio as Sunderland head coach.

Dave Hopper, general secretary of the association, said he was writing to the football club to demand the return of the Wearmouth Miners' Banner, which is on permanent display at the Stadium of Light, in protest at the decision to appoint Di Canio.

Paolo Di Canio has been appointed Sunderland head coach. Credit: Press Association

Mr Hopper, who worked for 27 years as a miner at Wearmouth Colliery, the site on which the Stadium of Light stands, described Di Canio's appointment as "an outrage" and "a betrayal of all those who fought and died fighting fascism."

In a statement on the association's website, referring to club chairman Ellis Short, he continued: "Everyone must speak out and oppose this outrage and call on Ellis Short and the Sunderland Board to reverse their decision."

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