Sunderland boss Di Canio involved in hotel brawl with Southampton fans

Paolo Di Canio
Paolo Di Canio
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SAFC manager Paolo Di Canio called in police after he and his staff were involved in a confrontation with rival fans in the team hotel just hours before his side took on Southampton.

The fight sparked a visit from Hampshire Police after 15 people were involved in the fracas on Friday night, leaving one man with a cut lip.

Di Canio revealed the altercation took place between his staff and three drunk Saints fans after a wedding ahead of his club’s 1-1 draw on Saturday, and led to him spending two hours with officers.

The Italian denied any Black Cats players were involved in the clash, where Southampton fans tried to halt the manager’s lift.

He said: “Obviously the players went to bed at 10pm or 9.30pm – they were already sleeping.

“Once we were close to the lift, we heard loud people shouting. I can’t repeat any of it.

“Obviously their behaviour showed they were Southampton fans, but, to be honest, I don’t think they wanted to attack us physically.

“Once we walked inside the lift they arrived in front of the lift and started recording with their mobile phone. I was screaming from behind the staff and we tried to push the third floor button and they tried to stop and kept going.

“I asked for the police because it wasn’t fair that people inside the hotel attack, verbally and physically, members of my staff.”

A police spokeswoman said officers spoke to three men, aged 20, 45 and 47, but no one was arrested, and a 20-year-old man had suffered a cut to his lip.