Di Canio unrepentant after referee's censure


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The Independent Football

He may have been sent off for the third time this season, and is facing another FA charge, but the Swindon Town manager, Paolo Di Canio, insists he won't curb his fiery Italian ways.

Di Canio was banished to the stands midway through the second half during his side's 1-0 win over 10-man Macclesfield Town on Saturday, after animatedly venting his frustration at referee Keith Stroud when he failed to award a free-kick for a foul on Aden Flint.

And Di Canio had not calmed down by the time it came to his post-match interview, launching an impassioned defence of his actions.

"I did not swear or say any bad words, but the referee sent me off because he did not like my body language," he said. "I am a passionate man and if I want to wave my arms in the air nobody is going to stop me. If the FA charge me I will appeal because if I deserved to be sent off for that I will be in the stands every week."

Di Canio could be handed an extended touchline ban, as he had already been issued with an FA charge for running on to the pitch to celebrate a 93rd-minute winner with his team at Northampton on New Year's Eve. He received a one-match ban plus a £500 fine for that offence. "If they send me off 25 times it does not matter, because I have a great team and we will still win the league," he declared.

Swindon won Saturday's match thanks to Paul Benson's 76th-minute header, and remain fourth in League Two, three points off the leaders.

Di Canio famously received an 11-game ban and a £10,000 fine in 1998, when a Sheffield Wednesday player, for pushing the referee Paul Alcock to the ground in a match against Arsenal.