Rio Ferdinand backs Paolo Di Canio's Premier League campaign

Rio Ferdinand
© PA Photos
Rio Ferdinand insists that he supports Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland following the publication of a previous criticism he made in 2007.

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has given his backing to new Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio, despite making headlines for a previous comment made against the Italian.

The centre-back has condemned a national newspaper for picking out a criticism of Di Canio from the 34-year-old's 2007 autobiography.

The former Swindon Town boss, who has been accused of being a fascist, was branded "an absolute idiot" by Ferdinand in his book for making a fascist salute.

Ferdinand wrote on Twitter: "Why has a paper brought out a quote from years ago to try and derail Di Canio?? Lazy journalism again. I wish him good luck in the PL. Simple."

Meanwhile, Di Canio has denied having fascist beliefs.

Paolo Di Canio before kickoff
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