Paolo Di Canio says he is “not a political person” and he will “talk about only football” during his first news conference as Sunderland manager.
The 44-year-old Italian was asked if he was a fascist on several occasions but did not directly respond, even though he was clearly angered by the questioning and the briefing was abruptly ended.
Di Canio said: “I don’t have to answer any more this question. There was a very good statement from the club, (with) very, very clear words that came out from me.
“My life speaks for me so there is no need to speak any more about this situation because it’s ridiculous and pathetic.
“I can’t every two weeks, every two months, every 10 months answer the same questions that are not really in my area.
“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.”
Read more: Political football - Paolo Di Canio
Di Canio previously stated in a 2005 interview with an Italian news agency to being “a fascist, but not a racist” and he has been pictured making a fascist salute to Lazio fans.
The Durham Miners’ Association has asked Sunderland to return a symbolic banner which is kept at the Stadium of Light if Di Canio remains in his post, describing his appointment as a “betrayal and a disgrace”.
I don’t understand this problem. I am a manager, I’m a normal man, I’m a family man. Paolo Di Canio
Asked if he had a message for the association, Di Canio said: “I have said many, many words in the past and people have picked the words they wanted, I can’t keep going on about my life and my family.
“The people who are talking in this way, they don’t understand Paolo Di Canio.
“I don’t understand this problem. I am a manager, I’m a normal man, I’m a family man.
“The words sometimes fly away, what counts in life is the facts, who you are, what you are doing, what you did in the past so I think that should be enough and that they will be happy one day.”