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Pressure mounts on 'fascist' Di Canio

The Durham Miners and the Nelson Mandela Foundation helped to pile fresh pressure on the English Premier League's most controversial manager for his continued refusal to clarify his pro-fascist comments.

Paolo Di Canio faces new boycotts from fans and pressure from some club partners to clarify his previously stated fascist sympathies – which have included multiple fist salutes to "ultra" right-wing fans while playing at Lazio, a tattoo symbolising Benito Mussolini on his shoulder and repeated statements expressing both sympathy for and criticism of Italy's former fascist dictator.

While the majority of fans have welcome Mr Di Canio's appointment, several thousand have demanded his removal. The Durham Miners' Association became the latest group to threaten to boycott matches. It demanded that the club hand back a banner that has, until now, been on permanent display at the stadium.

"Our banner represents the Durham miners' long struggle for the rights of the working class, rights which were annihilated by fascism in Germany, Italy, Spain and Chile," said Dave Hopper, general secretary of the Miners' Association.

Yesterday, Mr Di Canio refused to discuss the nature of his pro-fascist sympathies. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent