In the build-up to the Tyne-Weir derby on Sunday Newcastle fans are told not to aim fascist salutes at the Sunderland manager.
Newcastle United fans have been given a warning ahead of their north-east derby with Sunderland on Sunday, with police stating fascist salutes aimed at Paolo Di Canio will not be taken lightly.
The new Black Cats boss was forced to defend his political views after being appointed manager at the Stadium of Light on March 31.
Accusations that Di Canio was a fascist were vehemently denied by the Sunderland man, despite the 44-year-old being fined in 2005 for making a Nazi salute to Lazio fans whilst celebrating.
The Italian’s appointment on Weirside prompted former foreign secretary David Miliband to step down from the club’s board because of the former Swindon manager’s past political statements.
Now Northumbria police have had to make a statement warning home fans at St James’ Park that salutes or gestures made to Di Canio will not be tolerated.
“Offensive gestures, particularly those with a suggestion of racist connotations, are completely unacceptable,” Chief Superintendent Steve Neill said on BBC News.
“We will take positive action against anyone seen acting in an offensive or racist manner.”
The police have made it clear they intend to review CCTV footage and hand out football banning orders if they receive complaints after the game.
The match at Newcastle will be Di Canio’s second in charge at Sunderland after losing his first 2-1 against Chelsea last weekend.
The Italian has a tough job on his hands to save the Black Cats from relegation as they sit just one point outside the relegation zone with only six games remaining.