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Italian Paolo di Canio’s appointment as coach of the struggling Sunderland Football Club has reignited an old controversy over his comment in 2005 that “I am a fascist, not a racist” in describing his political beliefs at the time. After his appointment as Sunderland coach was announced Tuesday, he said it was “stupid and ridiculous” for that statement to be raised again after his many attempts to clarify it. DiCanio had an excellent record as a player. Though he had a fiery temperament, he was also honored for sportsmanship.