Fan fanatic Di Canio banned for latest Nazi salute

Fanning flames … Paolo Di Canio salutes his fans.

Fanning flames … Paolo Di Canio salutes his fans.
Photo: AP

December 21, 2005

ROME: Controversial Lazio star Paolo Di Canio has been banned for one match after performing a Nazi salute to fans for the second week in succession.

The 39-year-old former Italian international was punished after making the gesture as he was substituted in his team's 1-1 draw against Juventus at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.

Lazio were also fined €8000 ($12,960), the same amount they were ordered to pay last weekend for allowing their supporters to brandish neo-Nazi symbols during the Serie A match against Livorno.

Di Canio also made a Nazi salute at Livorno fans in that game but managed to escape censure. Saturday's incident was the third time this year that Di Canio had made the fascist gesture. In March he was fined €10,000 ($16,200) for giving a Nazi salute at the end of the Rome derby two months earlier.

Di Canio has always been controversial. In 2001, he was given an award for fair play by FIFA for refusing to score an easy goal after the opposing goalkeeper suffered an injury. Three years earlier, however, he served an 11-match ban for pushing over a referee during an English league game.

■ In London: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger faces disciplinary action from the FA over comments on the performance of referee Rob Styles and one of his assistants during the Gunners' 2-0 defeat by Chelsea at Highbury.

Wenger was left fuming after Robin van Persie had a goal mistakenly ruled out for offside before Chelsea scored their first goal, and his remarks, although light-hearted, could be seen as an attack on the officials' integrity.

"We scored a regular goal but the referee made a very bad decision," Wenger said. "I associate the referee and linesmen in the same team - the Chelsea team."


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