This Day in History: 2023-02-02

Nr. 396


Lazio striker Paolo Di Canio defended the raised-arm salute that earned him a one-game ltalian league ban in 2004 by saying: «I am a fascist, not a racist.» Di Canio caused an outcry among politicians, players, fans and Jewish groups in a country desperate to forget its fascist past by making the stiff-armed salute after being substituted in the 1-1 draw with Juventus. The player, who was also fined €10,000, added: «I made the Roman salute because it’s a salute from a comrade to his comrades and was meant for my people. I do not want to incite violence or racial hatred.» Di Canio had made the gesture several times before during his time at Lazio, which has historically been linked with former dictator Mussolini.