Kick It Out want Paolo Di Canio clarification

Swindon boss Paulo Di Canio on the touchline against Colchester on February 5, 2013
© PA Photos
Kick It Out call upon Sunderland and Paolo Di Canio to clear up the confusion regarding the Italian's stance on discrimination.

Anti-racism organisation Kick It Out have urged both Sunderland and Paolo Di Canio to clarify their stance on discrimination.

Since Di Canio was appointed to the Stadium of Light helm on Sunday evening, the headlines have been dominated by an interview that the Italian gave back in 2005, where he reportedly declared that he was fascist.

He refused to discuss the issue during a press conference earlier today, but KIO are keen to be given some reassurances.

"It is not part of Kick It Out's remit to sanction the selection of staff of football clubs. However, football clubs have a responsibility to ensure that their employees demonstrate a commitment to anti-discrimination and equality of opportunity. It may be in the interest of both the club and Mr Di Canio to acknowledge a full and frank commitment to these policies," read a statement.

"It is all too easy for positive progress and engagement to be compromised by inappropriate statements, and both Sunderland supporters and members of its local community will be looking for reassurance on these points.

"When fascism is referenced within the context of English football, there is a wider concern. The spectre of the rise of far-right groups in some parts of Europe cannot be allowed to undermine the progress made in the game domestically, and the increasing number of incidents involving both neo-Nazi and Ultra groups which have happened in places like Italy and Greece, must not be replicated here.

"Kick It Out and its partners have held concerns for some time about similar groups operating in the UK. Now is the time to reinforce this vigilance."

Di Canio will take charge of the Black Cats for the first time on Sunday when they travel to Chelsea.

Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio during the match against Bournemouth on January 12, 2013
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