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Villa tops Audi Player Index in win vs. Fire

Five Aside
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DMA demand banner back

Sunderland continue to reel from the fallout of their controversial decision to sign Paulo Di Canio as the club's new manager.

• Paulo Di Canio profile
• Randall: Di Canio can hardly lose

After former vice-chairman and non-executive director David Miliband walked out on the club and anti-racism group Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) asked the club to explain its decision, the Black Cats have been ordered by the Durham Miners' Association (DMA) to return a banner currently on display at the Stadium of Light.

The DMA branded the appointment of Di Canio as 'betrayal and a disgrace' following the former Swindon manager's past political views, the 44-year-old once referred to himself as 'a fascist, not a racist'.

"I, like many thousands of miners, have supported Sunderland from infancy and are passionate about football," DMA general secretary Dave Hooper said in statement on the DMA website. "But, there are principles which are much more important.

"The appointment of Di Canio is a disgrace and a betrayal of all who fought and died in the fight against fascism.

"Everyone must speak out and oppose this outrage and call on Ellis Short and the Sunderland board to reverse their decision.

"Our banner represents the Durham miners' long struggle for the rights of the working class, rights which were annihilated by fascism in Germany, Italy, Spain and Chile.

"We have a sacred obligation to the millions who were wiped out by Hitler, Mussolini and Franco to oppose fascism wherever and in whatever context this evil creed raises its head - particularly at a time when working people are again being forced to pay for capitalism's crisis as they were in Europe in the 1920s and 30s."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.