ANOTHER Paolo Di Canio press conference was cut short yesterday as reporters refused to let questions about the Sunderland head coach’s fascist leanings lie.
Photographs of the Italian’s tattoos – associated with fascism and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini – were featured in several Sunday newspapers yesterday to keep the heat up on the 44-year-old
And reporters made a point of asking him about that and other adverse reports, despite the request of Sunderland press officer Louise Wanless for the media to restrict their questions solely to football matters.
Reference was made to a story from his former team-mate, West Ham and England keeper David James, who described the former striker as ‘unlikeable’ in the dressing room.
Also questioned was the claim made by Di Canion that Chris Powell, the black manager of Charlton Athletic and his former team-mate was one of his best friends in football.
“That’s news to me,” said Powell in a newspaper article over the weekend, “It feels like I’ve been used to sort out someone else’s problem.”
Di Canio responded to the James’ question by saying: “If I have to give an answer to every comment or criticism it will be difficult.
“I will be here all day.
“Although your principles never change, we all change as we grow.
“We can keep the same principles but we can be different people 20 years on.
“I have responsibilities now.
“I want to be a successful manager and I want to be liked but you can’t please everybody.”
The press conference was ended seconds later when, in swift succession, he was asked to renounce his tattoos and then asked to talk about the Durham Miners’ Association’s opposition to his appointment.
“Impossible you are. Come on” he said, exasperated by the first question
“I am sorry for them,” he said in response to the second, before being ushered out of the press room by club representatives.