Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Di Canio suspended over fascist salute

You might recongise the player pictured to your left. It is former Celtic and West Ham star Paolo di Canio, now currently at Lazio.

He has been banned for one match and fined by the Italian football federation for an allegedly fascist salute. He also misses Wednesdays' Serie A match at Lecce, and has also been ordered to pay €10,000 over the gesture which occurred during Saturday’s league game against Juventus.

Di Canio, 37, saluted his own Rome-based club’s fans after being substituted in the 1-1 draw, as he did on a separate occasion earlier in the season, to mixed views in Italy. He has made similar gestures during previous matches this year.

The player himself is adamant he has committed no offence.

"This is a political sentence and it is unjust," said Di Canio.

"My salute dates back to ancient Rome and expresses a sense of being a part of something, it has nothing to do with a racist ideology.

"I am ready to do it again."

Lazio president Claudio Lotito defended his player and said: "His gesture was not political and it has been misinterpreted."

Well di Canio was never afraid to court controversy during his time in England and it appears he hasn't changed in that regard! Personally I do not think salutes like these can be justified. It is too synonymous with the evil people of the past, more specifically Nazism.

On a similar note, as I understand it, the swastika is actually a religious symbol and is looked upon as a symbol of good luck in some cultures . Even so, nowadays it has negative connotations due to it being appropriated by the Nazis.

With that being the case, I don't think the use of the swastika can be justified and the same goes for salutes like the one di Canio made.


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