Controversial Italian brands suggestion ‘stupid and ridiculous’.
The controversy has already begun at the Stadium of Light following the appointment of Paolo Di Canio according to The Daily Mail.
The former Swindon boss was chosen as the man to replace the sacked Martin O’Neill but the appointment has been attacking by a number of anti-racism groups.
Former Labour politician David Miliband has resigned from his position on the club’s board, citing Di Canio’s previous political statements.
Di Canio was widely criticised during his time as a player with Lazio when he gestured a Roman salute to the club’s fans.
AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis recently received a lifetime ban from the Greek national team for making a similar gesture to the club’s fans.
Di Canio also said in his autobiography that he believes former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to have been a misunderstood figure.
The salute is known to also have connotations with Nazi Germany but Di Canio has moved to insist he is not a racist.
Di Canio has now released a statement on the Sunderland official website insisting he has no problem with anyone. He claimed that suggestions he was racist were ‘stupid and ridiculous.’
The former West Ham striker will have his work cut out to keep the club in the Premier League. The side sit just one point clear of the relegation zone following their 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at the weekend.