Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Call for Sunderland chair to resign over Di Canio

    A leading Reform rabbi and the dean of Durham have attacked Sunderland AFC’s appointment of Paolo Di Canio as head coach.

    Rabbi Jonathan Romain, of Maidenhead Synagogue, called on Sunderland chairman Ellis Short to resign for overlooking Mr Di Canio’s apparent fascist beliefs when hiring him this week.

    The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, the son of a Holocaust survivor, said he was “baffled” by Mr Di Canio claiming not to be racist, despite having a tattoo that pays tribute to Benito Mussolini, the Italian fascist dictator.

    Mr Di Canio made a straight-arm fascist salute to far-right fans while playing for Rome club Lazio in January 2005.

    After making a similar gesture in December that year, he reportedly said of complaints from the Italian Maccabi Federation: “If we are in the hands of the Jewish community, it’s the end. If action is taken because one community is up in arms it could be dangerous.”

    Mr Di Canio, who has written in the past of his “fascination” with Mussolini, issued a statement on Wednesday saying he was “not a racist”.

    “I do not support the ideology of fascism. I am not the man that some people like to portray,” he said.

    He also told journalists to “call Phil Spencer, he’s Jewish”, for a character reference. Mr Spencer, who is Mr Di Canio’s agent, said: “I’ve known him for 14 years. Paolo is aware of my Jewish heritage. I would not represent anyone who I thought was racist or antisemitic.”

    Former Labour Foreign Secretary David Miliband resigned from the Premier League club’s board on Sunday, citing the former West Ham United striker’s “past political statements”.

    Rabbi Romain said: “If Mr Di Canio chooses to mix sport and politics by giving fascist salutes, then he turns a football game into an ideological rally and compromises supporters who came for the former. So whether or not Sunderland stay in the Premier League, the club’s reputation has been relegated by appointing Di Canio as manager.”

Uk News

Dublin to fly Palestinian flag

Ben Weich

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Dublin to fly Palestinian flag
Uk News

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees
Leaders

The JC leader: On Corbyn, and on Arkush

The JC Leader

Friday, January 20, 2017

The JC leader: On Corbyn, and on Arkush
Uk News

Livingstone decision shameful, says Tom Watson

Lee Harpin and Marcus Dysch

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Livingstone decision shameful, says Tom Watson
World

Jewish groups angered at Trump HMD message

Daniel Sugarman

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Jewish groups angered at Trump HMD message
Education features

Allegations of anti-Semitism Oxford University Labour Club

Baroness Jan Royall

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Allegations of anti-Semitism Oxford University Labour Club
Uk News

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'

Marcus Dysch

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'
Uk News

UCL publishes investigation into UCLU event

Daniel Sugarman

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

UCL publishes investigation into UCLU event
Uk News

Anti-Israel conference faces delay

Lee Harpin

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Anti-Israel conference faces delay