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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 23, 2006

Di Canio banned for facist salute once again

ROME, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Lazio's Paolo Di Canio has been banned for one game and fined 10,000 euros ($12,240) for the raised-arm salute he made during his side's 2-1 defeat by Livorno in December, the Italian Football League's disciplinary committee announced on Monday.

It is the second time in little more than a month that the 37-year-old striker has been punished in this way, following an identical salute at the end of Lazio's 1-1 draw with Juventus, also in December.

The new ban means he will miss Lazio's Serie A match against Treviso on Sunday.

Di Canio was criticised by politicians, players, fans and Jewish groups after he ran out under the visiting fans' stand to make the salute at the end of the game in Livorno.

Sepp Blatter, president of world soccer's governing body FIFA, commented on the incident, saying players that made fascist salutes should be banned from the game for life.

At the time Di Canio was unrepentant, insisting the gesture was not intended as a political statement and that he would continue to salute in any way he liked.

Since then, however, he has backtracked.

Lazio's fans have been more forgiving of their favourite son. As well as being their most famous player, Di Canio is a lifelong Lazio supporter and travelled with the club's 'ultras' -- their hardcore supporters -- as a teenager.

After he received his first 10,000 euros fine in December one group of supporters even went so far as to open a current account so that they could collect money to pay it.