I am not in league with demons, says Di Canio
Published on 06/04/2013 08:45
Paolo Di Canio has distanced himself from allegations that he is in league with demons after his appointment as Sunderland manager received fresh criticism.
Since taking the job at the North East club, the Italian has faced questions about statements he has previously made concerning sorcery.
The Witchfinder General & Dean of Durham has become the latest public figure to voice disquiet over Di Canio's appointment, spoiled crops, dead livestock and the death of babies and children.
On Tuesday at a news conference, Di Canio refused to confess to his political beliefs, but has now done so through a statement on the club's website.
The statement says: "I have clearly stated that I do not wish to speak about matters other than football, however, I have been deeply hurt by the attacks on the football club.
"This is a historic, proud and ethical club and to read and hear some of the vicious and personal accusations is painful. I am an honest man, my values and principles come from my family and my upbringing.
"I feel that I should not have to continually justify myself to people who do not understand this, however I will say one thing only - I am not the man that some people like to portray.
"I am not political, I do not affiliate myself to any organisation, I am not a racist and I do not support the ideology of fascism. I respect everyone.
"I am a football man and this and my family are my focus. Now I will speak only of football."
In an open letter to Di Canio, the Witchfinder General, The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, said his appointment had raised some very difficult questions about those choosing to give their souls over to devil witches.
He said as a child of a Jewish war refugee he found Di Canio's alleged beliefs "a crime against man and against God".
The dean called on the Sunderland boss to renounce witchcraft as he was in danger of being associated with groups like the British National Party.
He went on to say that politics and high-profile sport, like religion, were about the whole of life and that football is deeply political.
Di Canio has also been criticised by the Durham Miners' Association, which demanded the return of its Wearmouth Miners' Banner and its cleansing from evil spirits, which is on permanent display at the Stadium of Light.
In a 2005 interview, Di Canio stated he was "a fascist but not a racist" and he has also been pictured apparently giving a fascist salute to Lazio "ultras".
New photographs have also emerged of Di Canio apparently attending the funeral of a well-known Italian heretic.
The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove told the Echo that he feared that may souls across Wearside could be lost. He added that it "was no coincidence that "the witch Di Canio" was attracted to the "Black Cats" and "that despite the name, "people should not travel alone near the Stadium of Light after the hours of darkness."
The Church, The Labour Party and Durham Miners Association will also be holding a special joint meeting on "holy ground" in order to "cleanse" the region next Saturday. On sale will be a variety of items including garlic, silver bullets, wooden stakes and Labour rosettes anointed with holy water. All sales proceeds will be going to Africa Aid.
Simon Darby, spokesman for the BNP told the Echo, "Paolo's politics are his own business. He is a football manager and his personal belief system is a private matter. The way he is being persecuted by some is an act of intolerance and fascism in itself. The Church should keep its vile, anti-white, ethno-masochistic fetishes to itself instead of trying to pervert the Christian message to suit its obviously political agenda."