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The newly-appointed Sunderland manager has again moved to shift focus away from his alleged political ideology and back to football in a statement released by the club

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has again moved to put an end to speculation regarding his political leanings.

The Black Cats boss, who was recently hired to replace Martin O'Neill, has come under fire since taking the post for previously declaring himself as a fascist.

However, the Italian has now denied this in a statement on the club's official website and vowed to "only speak of football" from now on.

The statement reads: “I have clearly stated that I do not wish to speak about matters other than football, however, I have been deeply hurt by the attacks on the football club.

“This is a historic, proud and ethical club and to read and hear some of the vicious and personal accusations is painful. I am an honest man, my values and principles come from my family and my upbringing.

"I feel that I should not have to continually justify myself to people who do not understand this, however I will say one thing only - I am not the man that some people like to portray.

“I am not political, I do not affiliate myself to any organisation, I am not a racist and I do not support the ideology of fascism. I respect everyone.

“I am a football man and this and my family are my focus.  Now I will speak only of football.”

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