Di Canio in fascist salute ban

Paolo Di Canio has been banned for one game and fined £7,000 by the Italian FA for making a fascist salute.

Submitted by Steven. on December 21, 2005

The 37-year-old Lazio striker - who spent time in England with Sheffield Wednesday and West Ham - has now made the gesture three times during matches.

He was fined £7,000 but escaped a ban for his antics against AS Roma in January and raised his arm after being substituted against Livorno earlier in the month.

Di Canio made the gesture again last weekend against Juventus.

The player - who was banned while in England for pushing a referee over - defended the gesture.

He said it was not intended as a political statement and he would continue to acknowledge his fans in whatever way he chose.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes players making fascist salutes should be banned from the game for life.

The gestures have been attacked by politicians, players, fans and Jewish groups in Italy.

Lazio has distanced itself from Di Canio, saying the club rejected any "politicisation" of football.

Reports say the Livorno game on December 11 - which Lazio lost 2-1 - was played in a "poisonous" atmosphere.

Elements of Lazio's fans align themselves with the far right while Livorno supporters have a reputation in Italy for their left-wing politics.

During the match, Lazio fans held up swastika while Livorno sang anti-fascist songs.