English Premier League team Sunderland FC has sparked outrage by appointing Paolo Di Canio, who has publicly identified as a fascist, as its coach. The local Durham Miners' Association, with longstanding links to the club, has condemned the move.
ABC Radio reported on April 3 that mining association general secretary Dave Hooper said: “We feel the decision to appoint this man has besmirched the memory of the coalminers, many of whom fought and lost their lives in the battle against fascism in the Second World War, also in Spain, in the Spanish Civil War.
“I've been a supporter all me life. I was born there, just outside the ground … But we also have principles as coalminers. The British coalminers have fought fascism all our lives. We are proud men. We are principally right. We think we've took the right decision. We think the football club have took the wrong decision.
Hooper said his association would have nothing to do with the club unless it reversed the decision. “There's certainly no way I would be ever going to that ground while this man's connected with the club.”